What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ?
The bones in the wrist are surrounded by several tissues. The median nerve passes through this tight band between the bones and the tissues in the wrist. This area in the wrist where the median nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls the functionality of the palm, the fingers and the thumb.
When there is any injury or swelling of the carpel tunnel, the median nerve tends to get pinched due to the lack of space in the carpal tunnel, thereby causing severe pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the wrist. This condition is called the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are listed below:
- A feeling of numbness or tingling in the thumb and/or the adjoining fingers. This feeling may be more pronounced at night due to the inactivity of the hand.
- A feeling of tingling or numbness in the palm of the hand
- Pain that may shoot up the forearm and may extend up to the elbow.
- Occasional development of a burning sensation in the wrists and hands.
- Difficulty in the movement or coordination of the fingers in one or both hands.
- Wrist pain in one or both hands
- One of both of the hands may develop weakness or cramping
- Difficulties in gripping objects or carrying bags which eventually results in patients dropping them.
- Severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome may lead to wasting away of the thumb muscle or that of under it.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pictures
Picture 1 : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (median nerve)
Image source : @ MMG
Picture 2 : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome pic
Image source : @ MMG
Picture 3 : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Image source : Medicine net
Picture 4 : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises
Image source : sergiovalens.com
Picture 5 : Best procedure while typing on keyboard
Carpal tunnel syndrome Causes
The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are not known. However any activity or the presence of some diseases that leads to increased tension or stress in the carpal tunnel may result in developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the causes are as follows:
Repetitive acts that cause inflammation of the tendons, like-
- Increased movements of the hands and wrists,
- Typing over a long period of time,
- Increased use of musical instruments
- Work that involves assembly line production
- Using tools that vibrate or are hand tools
- Sports like lawn tennis or squash.
Diseases and conditions that may cause abnormal substances to deposit in the carpal tunnel, like-
- Wrist arthritis or bone fractures
- Multiple myeloma
- Dialysis or kidney failure
- Infections or trauma
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome involves methods to alleviate the causes of stress on the carpal tunnel. They are:
- A review and change of repetitive acts at work and home.
- Wearing a splint at night or day as well.
- Medications like corticosteroid injections and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Surgery to remove the cause of pressure on the median nerve