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.