Carpal tunnel syndrome: Overview
Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is a painful wrist condition. The condition may happen due to excessive pressure on the median nerve – a nerve that passes through your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve helps control the movements and sensation of your thumbs. As well as this, it may also control the movements of the rest of the fingers except the pinky finger. Studies have found that people involved in high physical demanding work are at a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. However, several causes are causing carpal tunnel syndrome. This article is a detailed account of the causes and risk factors of carpal tunnel syndrome. As well as this, the common symptoms, treatment plans, and preventative measures are also the common topics of discussion in this article. So, let’s start the debate here;
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Causes
The common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is excessive pressure on the wrist, especially on the median nerve. However, several other conditions may result in carpal tunnel syndrome. Whenever you feel pain and other symptoms, consult your GP immediately, and they will help you determine the cause of the pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Risk Factors
Sometimes, there is no single cause causing carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it may result from a combination of risk factors instead. The following are the common risk factors contributing to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:
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Structural deformity: A wrist fracture, dislocation, or arthritis may deform the small wrist bones. These conditions may also alter the space within the carpal tunnel, putting pressure on the median nerve.
Medical conditions: Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, may increase the risk of nerve damage, including the median nerve. As well as this, certain other medical conditions, including lymphedema, thyroid disorders, menopause, and kidney failure, may increase the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Inflammatory conditions: Diseases with inflammatory components, such as rheumatoid, can affect the lining around the wrist tendons, putting pressure on the median nerve.
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Obesity: Studies have shown that being obese can be one of the risk factors contributing to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Medications: Some studies have shown that medications such as anastrozole (Arimidex) may cause the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fluid retention: Fluid retention becomes the reason for increasing pressure within the carpal tunnel, irritating the median nerve.
Occupational activities: Several occupational activities requiring prolonged or repetitive movements of wrists and hands may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. However, the existing nerve damage may worsen, especially when working in a cold temperature.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Symptoms
Usually, carpal tunnel syndrome may result in the following conditions or symptoms:
Numbness or tingling: Carpal tunnel syndrome may result in numbness and tingling sensation in fingers or hands. Usually, the thumb, index, middle, or ring fingers are affected. You may feel the sense of electric shock in your fingers. You may feel these symptoms, especially when holding a steering wheel, newspaper, or phone.
Weakness: The condition may make you feel weakness in your hands or wrists. The weakness happens to such an extent that it causes dropping an object from your hands.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Treatments
Once the problem is diagnosed, depending upon your conditions, healthcare professionals will suggest surgical or non-surgical treatments:
The following are the non-surgical treatments to help manage the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:
Wrist bracing: Wearing a wrist brace helps keep your wrist in a neutral or straight position, helping relieve pressure and control further damage. As well as this, wrist braces for carpal tunnel syndrome help provide support and compression to the wrist or median nerve, helping speed up recovery.
Medication: Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs may help relieve pain resulting from carpal tunnel syndrome. However, no evidence exists that these drugs help improve carpal tunnel syndrome.
Corticosteroids: Your healthcare provider may inject corticosteroid injection, such as cortisone, into the carpal tunnel, helping relieve pain. Your healthcare providers may sometimes perform an ultrasound to guide the injections. Corticosteroids may also decrease swelling and inflammation, helping ease pressure on the median nerve.
When the non-surgical treatments do not respond, your healthcare professionals may suggest one of the mentioned surgical treatments:
Endoscopic surgery: Endoscopic surgery is performed to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. During this surgical treatment, your surgeon uses a telescopic device with a tiny camera to get an inner view of the carpal tunnel. Then he cuts the ligaments of hands or wrists through small incisions. Some surgeons may use ultrasound alternative to the telescope, guiding the tool to cut the ligaments accurately.
Open surgery: During open surgery, your surgeon makes a cut in the hand’s palm over the carpal tunnel and cuts through the ligaments, freeing the nerve.
Experts also reveal some risks of surgical treatments, which may include:
- The ligaments may not be released completely
- Wound infections
- Mark formation
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Preventive Measures
Experts suggest the following preventative measures that help reduce the chances of the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:
Sleeping position: Keeping your wrist straight when sleeping will help reduce pressure on the median nerve.
Wrist position: Keep your wrist neutral or straight when using tools.
Wearing wrist braces: Wearing wrist support braces helps protect your wrists during high-contact physical activities, helping prevent injuries.
Avoid Flexing: Avoiding flexing and repetitive movements help reduce the chances of injuries.
Frequent breaks: If you are involved in repetitive movements of hands, take frequent breaks.
Stretching exercises: Regular stretching exercises to keep your wrist active and flexible, helping prevent injuries.
Proper training: Ensure proper training before performing sports and other strenuous exercises.
Buy the best wrist braces for CTS
Certain activities or medical conditions can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. However, following the preventive measures mentioned above helps reduce the chances of injuries. Moreover, wearing wrist support braces helps speed up recovery following carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist-related diseases. As well as this, they also help promote healing following wrist surgery. If you are looking for the best wrist supports to help manage your wrist problems, we suggest you visit 360 relief, where you can find a variety of wrist braces in a wide range of colours and sizes Read more