Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

An Overview Of The Causes And Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a highly painful condition which is caused as a result of the inflexibility of a particular chief nerve in the wrist. This condition occurs when the Median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand, is highly stressed or compressed at the wrist.

Cause

Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen during daily activities because of the excessive pressure applied on the wrist nerves while performing lifting or similar types of stress activities. This results in pain, numbness, stiffness or itching in various parts of the hand.

This syndrome is usually associated with hard physical stress and is considered a work-related hazard. The best way to avoid this problem is to reduce or avoid the activities that would put excessive pressure on the hand and fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Symptoms

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are gradual and would start with soreness, stiffness or deadness in the wrist and other parts of hand. There can be severe pain right from shoulder to finger tip.

Later when the problem is at a severe stage, one may feel itching in the hand, pain and reduced gripping capability. The person may even find it hard to shape the fist, grab or carry light objects, and may find difficulty in carrying out physical tasks involving hand operations. Unfortunately, no one is sure why this problem occurs. It is found in certain people because of an innate predilection – that is when the carpal tunnel in the body is not normal and is comparatively smaller or weak. However, the threat of carpal tunnel syndrome is very common in people who perform assemblage line jobs that involve heavy hand movement.

The bones in the human wrist are typically arranged in an uneven manner, in the form of a semi-circle. A tough ligament, known as the carpal ligament, builds a kind of roof above these bones. This forms a passage called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve, as well as the tendons that help the bending of the fingers and wrist, passes along this tunnel. The median nerve is one of two nerves that gives the hand the feeling ability. This nerve also controls some of the thumb muscles.

The carpal tunnel is perfectly and firmly positioned. If any swelling occurs inside or in nearby areas, the tunnel crushes on the medium nerve and generates the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tasks like typing, knitting, playing musical instruments like the piano or violin, or the continuous usage of vibrating tools involve constant wrist moments and may result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Injured or damaged wrists are also vulnerable to develop this condition easily. Rheumatoid arthritis is yet another factor that would aggravate the problem. The disease Acromegaly is another situation where growth hormones are formed excessively. Under-active thyroid gland, fluid retention which is caused by kidney failure and even pregnancy can make pressure inside the carpal tunnel, causing the median nerve to be affected.

It has been found that overweight people, pregnant women, women who use contraceptive pills and those experiencing menopause are prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, even though it seems to come without any apparent reason.

Symptoms of the disease also involve aching, tingling, burning, deadness, or pain in the hand and wrist and also in those areas that are linked to the median nerve (index, thumb, middle finger, part of the ring finger). There are also chances that the pain could spread to the arm as well as the shoulder.

These symptoms of pain would normally be higher at night times and in the early morning. Also after heavy labor or work that involve strenuous wrist movements.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect either or both hands with varying severity. In the beginning stage, the symptoms will come and go, but ignoring them would result in chronic pain and would be more difficult to cure. If not treated early, the hand muscles will gradually become feeble and may even result in permanent loss of feeling. Simple tasks like writing would become difficult or even impossible.

Summary:

Carpal tunnel syndrome has become a common problem that happens because of the acute pressure on the wrist nerves that results in aching, deadness, or tingling in various parts of the hand. This can also be a work-related hazard. These types of problems can be avoided by stopping or reducing the activity that exerts pressure on the hands, fingers, and wrist.

Treatment and prevention

There has been much discussion as to the most effective treatment for Carpal tunnel syndrome. However, treatments can be generally divided into several basic categories. One of them is physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy

Dr. Rosenberg, DC., utilizes physiotherapy to treat and control carpal tunnel syndrome. Manual treatment that includes deep friction massage can help manage the swelling that is a factor in nerve compression. This is combined with manual stretches to the tendons to the fingers and wrist.

Therapy can be very effective in helping to calm flares of carpal tunnel symptoms. The key is also to maintain the lessons learned in therapy in a home program. Therapy in this way can control symptoms.

Call to make an appointment today:
Dr. Erik Rosenberg, D.C. (858) 279-2121

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