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Information on carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disorder that results from injury to the median nerve as it passes from the forearm to the hand through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The nerve passes through the tunnel, it is over susceptible to the repetitive stress injury, or overuse injury. Most often the early signs of CTS are failure to feel textures or touch. Eventually this can lead to the inability to grip things or pick things up. Significant weakness and wasting of the muscles in the hand is also very common if it is not corrected in time. Sometimes there will be a tingling or numbness in the feet, ankles, or lower legs. This syndrome is called tarsal tunnel syndrome and is closely related.

Many people think that carpal tunnel syndrome came with the computer keyboard. This is false however. CPT and other major nerve passages have been around a very long time. Although with so many fingers bend used at once on a computer keyboard, the problem is more widespread than ever before. CPT mostly effects middle ages women more than men. It is also common in women that are overweight, pregnaught, or menopausal. In any case, whether the causes are systemic or the result of repetative stress, most carpal tunnel syndrome’s are easily prevented and entirely corrected if recognized early.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome would include a tingling or numb feeling in the hand, usually just in the thumb and first three fingers. Shooting pains in the wrist or forearm, and sometimes expanding through the shoulder, neck, chest, and foot can also occur. Difficulty clenching the fist or grasping small objects is another common sign. Also dry skin and fingernail deterioration are sometimes likely.

Treatment for CTS can be quiet simple, varying up to corrective surgery. An instinctive reaction to numbness or tingling in the fingers is to drop the hands to the sides

and shake the wrists and fingers. This natural response provides immediate relief. If the symptoms only occur occasionally, this maybe all the treatment required, although it is necessary to check with a doctor. If a person would continue doing the activity that brings

about the tingling or numbness, the symptoms will continue and permenant damage could be brought against the affected nerve. With more perment CTS, a splint on the wrist is usually worn for a week or two to give the hand a break from the activity that is causing the nerve to hurt. Also taking frequent breaks at a job that requires typing is necessary to get relief. Most commonly an anti-inflammatory drug is given to reduce pain.

In order to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a person needs to keep the hand in its most normal, natural position in most normal activates is straight or slightly bent at the wrist, with the thumb more or less in line with the forearm. Bending the hand forward or backwards at the wrist for extended periods of time stresses the nerve and causes pain. While typing, use a wrist support bar and take frequent breaks. A doctor should be seen if a person thinks they have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Once diagnosed, the treatment will start, and the pain will decrease.

Other treatments are available, check with your doctor.


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