Navigating Carpal Tunnel: Understanding Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel, which is located on the palm side of the wrist, is a small passageway enclosed by bones and ligaments. If the median nerve becomes compressed, it can cause numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hand and arms.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be a result of health problems, repetitive hand motions, and the anatomy of the wrist. The tingling, numbness, or pain in the wrists and hands can be relieved by proper treatment.
Navigating Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms are usually gradual and include:
Numbness And Tingling: You might notice tingling or numbness on your fingers or hands. It is usually the index, middle, and ring fingers, not the little ones that are affected. This could feel like an electrical shock.
The sensation may spread from the wrist to the upper arm. These symptoms may occur while you’re holding a telephone, steering wheel, or newspaper. They can also wake you up from sleep.
Many people “shake their hands” to relieve symptoms. The numbness can become persistent over time.
Weakness: Dropping objects and experiencing weakness in your hands are common symptoms. This could be because of numbness and weakness of the thumb-pinching muscles.
Navigating Carpal Tunnel Causes
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure placed on the median nervous, the median nervous runs from the forearm, through a passageway at the wrist (carpal canal), to the palm. It gives sensation to the palm side of the thumb and finger except for the little one. It also transmits nerve signals that move the muscles in the area around the base (motor function) of the thumb.
Carpal syndrome may be caused by any condition that irritates, squeezes, or swells the median (or ulnar) nerve within the carpal canal space. The carpal tunnel can become narrowed by a wrist fracture, and the nerve can become irritated. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause swelling and inflammation.
There is usually no one cause for carpal tunnel. A combination of factors may contribute to the condition. South Valley Neurology offers specialized care and expertise in diagnosing and treating carpal tunnel syndrome, guiding patients through the journey of understanding symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Navigating Carpal Tunnel Risk Factors
There are a number of factors that have been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome may not be caused by these factors, but they increase the chance of damage or irritation to the median nerve. They include:
- Anatomical Factors: A wrist injury or dislocation (or arthritis) that changes the shape of the small bones at the wrist may alter the space inside the carpal canal and cause pressure to the median nerve. Smaller carpals can increase the risk of carpal syndrome.
- Nerve-Damaging Conditions: Certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, increase the risk of nerve damage.
- Inflammatory Conditions: The lining surrounding the tendons of the wrist can be affected by rheumatoid and other conditions. This puts pressure on the median nerve.
- Medications: Studies have found a link between anastrozole and carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a condition caused by the drug Arimidex (anastrozole), which is used to treat cancer of the breast.
- Obesity: The risk of carpal tunnel syndrome is increased by obesity.
- Fluid Changes In The Body: Fluid retention can increase the pressure inside the carpal tunnel and irritate the median nerve. This occurs during menopause and pregnancy. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome associated with pregnancy typically improves on its own.
- Other Medical Disorders: Some conditions, such as menopause and thyroid disorders, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Navigating Carpal Tunnel Prevention
Carpal tunnel syndrome is not preventable, but there are ways to reduce the stress on your wrists and hands.
- Reduce Your Force And Relax Your Grip: Use less force when you are working on a keyboard or a cash register. If you need to write for a long time, choose a pen with an oversized soft grip adapter. The ink that flows freely is also advisable.
- Take Frequent Short Breaks: Bend your wrists and hands gently. If possible, switch tasks. This is particularly important if the equipment you are using vibrates or if it requires you to exert significant force. Even a couple of minutes per hour can have a big impact.
- Pay Attention To Your Form: Don’t bend your wrists all the way down or up. It is best to sit in a relaxed, middle position. Keep the keyboard at elbow level or slightly lower.
- Improve Your Posture: A bad posture can cause neck pain by causing the shoulders to be rolled forward. This can lead to neck pain, as well as affect the fingers, hands, and wrists.
- Switch Your Computer Mouse: Ensure that your mouse is comfortable and does not strain your wrist.
- Keep Hands Warm: Working in a cold climate can cause hand stiffness and pain. If you are unable to control the temperature, wear fingerless gloves, which keep the wrists and hands warm.