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What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Its Symptoms, Causes & Treatments?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common disorder that causes soreness, insensibility and stinging sensation in the hands and arms

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common disorder that causes soreness, insensibility and stinging sensation in the hands and arms. This condition arises when the prime nerve of the hand also known as the median nerve gets into pressure or gets squeezed. Median Nerve runs through the length of the arm and moves through a passage in the wrist known as carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. This nerve controls the movement of the thumb and fingers.

What causes this syndrome?

  • Continuously using one hand to do a task: Doing any work from the same hand for a long time or repeating the same wrist motions or activities for a prolonged period increases the tendons in the wrist and causes swelling, thus leads to putting pressure on the nerve.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the changes in hormones can cause severe swelling and swelling thus, puts pressure on the nerve.
  • Health Problems: Like rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism and diabetes are the condition that may cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Any injury or fracture to the wrist may harm the nerve or may squeeze the median nerve.
  • Habits like eating more salt, smoking, high BMI(body mass index), and sedentary lifestyle, may also invites carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Burning, itching or tingling numbness in the palm and discomfort or tenderness majorly in the thumb, index and ring fingers.
  • When you are not able to hold anything and lose grip of your fingers and thumb because of weakness, numbness or stiffness in your palm or hand.
  • Periodic shock-like sensations that diffuse to the thumb and fingers.
  • Severe pain or tingling running up through the forearm to shoulder.
  • When you wake up in the morning, you experience stiffness, numbness, and pain in your hand that may travel all the way to your shoulder.
  • Experiencing weakness in muscles of your hand.
  • You are not able to sleep because of severe wrist pain.

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This syndrome can be diagnosed with physical examination, and a test called nerve conduction study. In physical examination, the doctor will carry out an acute examination of hand, wrist, shoulder, arm, fingers, and neck to check whether there is any pressure on the nerve. The doctor will also check the sensations in your fingers and the strength of your hand’s muscles.

Nerve Conduction studies measure the conduction speed of nerve impulses. If the test diagnoses that the impulse of the nerve is slower than normal than it may signify the sign of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Visit a doctor, and they will help you know the severity of this syndrome. If this problem seems to be mild, then just a change in your lifestyle may help you. The doctor may ask you to do specific stretching and strengthening exercises, and take frequent breaks from any repetitive task of hand that’s causing you pain.
  • The doctor after examining your hand may ask you to wear a splint to make your wrist rest and to lessen the pressure on the nerve. You may wear it in the night to avoid that tingling and pain. It can help you sleep well by giving the median nerve rest.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you some medications to reduce swelling.
  • Depends upon the severity of the syndrome, if none of the above-mentioned treatments work, then surgery may be an option. Talk to your doctor about it.

Usually, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome begin moderately. Sometimes the symptoms come and go at first, but then gets worse. They tend to occur more often or may continue for longer periods of time.

For the patients suffering from this syndrome always recommended for early diagnosis and treatment as sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome can cause severe damage to the nerve. If diagnosed at the starting stage, it can be relieved with simple steps like wearing a splint, stretching exercises or by avoiding certain activities.

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