If you feel any numbness, pain, or tingling in your hand, consider visiting your doctor to check for carpal tunnel syndrome. According to OSHA, it is a common condition that afflicts millions of Americans every year in mild to severe form.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls the movement of all your fingers, including your thumb. It is a painful condition of the wrist and hand.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a combination of factors. The pain in your carpal tunnel is because of the excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. As a result, your wrist may swell up because of the blocked up blood flow.
Here are some of the risk factors for carpal syndrome:
- Repetitive Hand Use: Repeated hand/wrist motions over a long period of time may cause swelling and result in putting pressure on the nerve
- Hand/Wrist Position: Pressure in the nerve can occur by doing activities that require
- Pregnancy: Hormone-related swelling can cause carpal tunnel.
- Health Conditions: Obesity, diabetes, trauma, and other medical conditions can result in carpal tunnel.
- Genetics: Carpal tunnel can be hereditary.
- Lifestyle Factors including smoking, high body mass index, and high salt intake can all cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
If diagnosed and treated early, the symptoms of carpal tunnel can be relieved with proper care.
Heathline states that doctors can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by looking at your history, conducting a physical examination, and nerve conduction studies. Nonsurgical treatments include using wrist splits, taking NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and having a doctor inject your carpal tunnel with a corticosteroid.
In more severe cases, surgery may be considered. Your doctor may suggest carpal tunnel release surgery if your symptoms have not improved in 6 months. There are two main types of surgery. For open surgery, the surgeon makes a large cut, up to 2 inches, from your wrist to your palm. For endoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes 2 half-inch incisions. From there, they will insert a camera to guide the operation.
Are you feeling discomfort in your wrist? To set up to set up an appointment with an orthopedic specialist, fill out a consultation form here.
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