Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that occurs due to a pinched nerve in the wrist. Most sufferers also experience tingling and weakness in the affected wrist. In moderate or severe cases, these sensations may spread from the wrist, going up the forearm. These individuals may have difficulty carrying objects without dropping them. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a range of conditions, including wrist injuries and chronic illnesses. Fortunately, there are a number of remedies available to help reduce the symptoms.
The Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed or pinched. This important nerve begins in the the forearm and runs to the palm. Although the nerve is protected by the carpal tunnel, the nerve can still be pinched due to a number of different causes. For example, some health conditions can increase an individual’s risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including obesity and thyroid disorders. Chronic illnesses, including diabetes, can also increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Women who are pregnant may experience an increase in fluid retention in their bodies, which can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
In some cases, the sufferer’s anatomy may lead to an increased chance of developing the condition. For example, individuals with narrower carpal tunnels have a higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist dislocation or fracture can also lead to the syndrome. Finally, repetitive stress on the wrist may also increase the chance of carpal tunnel syndrome. This can include constantly using industrial hand tools or working on an assembly line.
Today, there are many different treatment options for individuals suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. For individuals with mild cases, taking frequent breaks to rest their hands can help reduce the pain. During a break, the individual should also stretch out their arms and flex their wrists. Individuals can also change their sleeping habits to help reduce the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, wearing a wrist brace while sleeping can help the individual rest more easily. Sufferers should also avoid sleeping on their hands to reduce the pressure on their wrists. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be helpful.
If at-home remedies and habit changes do not help reduce symptoms, sufferers can get help from a pain management doctor. Localized corticosteroid injections can offer immediate relief to those with moderate cases of the syndrome. A corticosteroid injection will reduce the swelling around the nerve, freeing it from pressure. However, severe cases of carpal tunnel may require additional help from a surgeon to get results. Surgery can help alleviate the compression on the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist, can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, tingling and weakness. Although there is no clear cure for every case of carpal tunnel syndrome, sufferers can choose from a range of treatment options to help them manage their symptoms and resume their daily activities.