Carpal tunnel syndrome is a kind of disease in which numbness, tingling, and compression in the median nerve are caused in hand and arms of the patient. Due to this, a patient suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome feels sensation in their thumb and fingers especially in the long finger, ring finger and index finger. It is observed that carpal tunnel syndrome may occur in one hand or both the hands.
Causes and Symptoms Associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Due to carpal tunnel syndrome, swellings are common in the wrist of the patient resulting in the compression of the median nerve of the thumb, palm, and finger. Some of the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness, weakness in the muscles of the hand, inflammation, wrist pain, and tingling on hand near the thumb.
There are several causes due to which carpal tunnel syndrome are formed. However, the main reason for developing carpal tunnel syndrome is the inflammation that is caused due to swelling in the wrist. It may also be caused due to some obstructed blood flow. Some of the other reason due to which carpal tunnel syndrome may also be developed are diabetes, high blood pressure, fluid retention that is mainly caused from pregnancy or even menopause, thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, fracture or certain trauma in the wrists.
Complications Associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
People may encounter with various types of complications if they develop carpal tunnel syndrome. It is found that women are mainly prone to carpal tunnel syndrome as compared to men. Apart from that, it is seen that it is mainly developed in between the age of 30 to 60 years of age. In case, carpal tunnel syndrome is detected at the right time then it can be treated otherwise there can be a serious complication in the patient. Some of the common complications that mainly occur due to carpal tunnel syndrome are weakening of muscles, dexterity of affected fingers, atrophy, etc. Apart from that, it may increase the chance of developing median nerve damage as well.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment
Before the start of the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, it is very essential to diagnose the disease. For diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, doctors usually checks the medical history of the patient. Apart from that, a physical examination is performed that includes the comprehensive evaluation of hand, shoulder, wrists, and the neck of the patient. Moreover, another type of test is conducted which is usually called nerve conduction studies. With the help of this test, doctors can measure the conduction speed of the nerve impulse of the patient. In case the nerve impulse is found to be slower than that of the normal condition then the patient has developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome mainly depends on the severity of the disease. In a severe case, it becomes necessary to go for surgery but if the case is not so severe then it is always recommended not to go for surgery rather take mild pain medication or take steroid in some cases to reduce the inflammation.
Care to be Taken to Avoid Complications of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
To avoid having the complications of carpal tunnel syndrome, one must take care of the following things:
- Reduce the force and pressure on the hand and wrist. Put gentle strokes in the keyboard.
- Avoid bending the wrist too much up or down. A relaxed position i.e., the hand at right angle bent from the elbow is better. Try to keep the keyboard or the book where you want to write at the elbow height or just slightly below the elbow.
- Take frequent breaks from writing or typing and stretch your hands, elbow, wrist and fingers to release the tension off from the muscles, nerves and tendons.
- Incorrect posture like rounded shoulder, forward leaning posture or forward neck can also put strain on the wrist and hands by compressing nerves in the neck.
- Keep a warm temperature as it makes the muscles relaxed. However, if you cannot regulate the temperature, then try wearing fingerless gloves which will keep your hands warm.
- Try switching your hands to relieve the constant stress on one hand.
Thus if you have to reduce the inflammation you should start to treat it as soon as possible because it may severely damage the median nerve. In that case, it will become mandatory to do surgery to get rid of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and to reduce the inflammation that is caused due to this disease. It is always advisable to take some preventive measures so that you do not develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tremendous pain and neglecting it will only cause further damage to the hand and its nerves and muscles. It is very essential to note the symptoms at once and seek help.
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