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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve (median nerve) to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve causes numbness, tingling, and, eventually, hand weakness. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women and usually occurs between the ages of 35 and 40.
 
 
Risk Factors
  • Repetitive hand actions, such as using the computer, sewing, driving, etc.
  • Performing functions where the wrist is bent for a long period, such as housework, ironing, carrying heavy bags, etc.
  • Performing actions that require the wrists to be flexed or those where objects impact the wrist, such as carpentry, factory work, construction, or concrete work.
  • Adhesions that thicken due to age.
  • Pregnancy and other health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, etc.
 
Symptoms
  • Pain and/or numbness in the palm and fingers, in one or both hands. Symptoms occur significantly more frequently in the dominant hand, especially the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
  • Weakness of the wrist and fingers, such as being unable to make a fist or dropping things easily.
  • Without treatment you may notice that the muscles in your hands atrophy at certain times and symptoms worsen at night. Some patients will wake up from the pain and discomfort in their hands.
To reduce the compression of the median nerve in the wrist.
  • Use supportive equipment to stabilize the median nerve so it is not pulled or compressed.
  • Avoiding the actions that cause symptoms and managing any health conditions that may contribute to the problem, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Doing so may reduce the chances of the median nerve being compressed.
  • Avoid flexing the wrist when performing daily activities and focus on moving the elbow or shoulder instead, such as when sweeping, brushing your teeth, etc., to reduce inflammation at the wrist.
  • Physical therapy, including ultrasound and exercises, may be effective in patients with mild symptoms.
  • Wearing supportive equipment at night can keep the wrist in an appropriate position, preventing flexion and reducing pain. Once symptoms improve, you may be able to stop wearing the equipment.
  • Medication.
    • Medication used most commonly is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce inflammation, including aspirin and ibuprofen. These can reduce pain and swelling.
    • Oral steroids can be used temporarily and must be supervised by a doctor.
    • Injected steroids can be administered into the wrist and is usually 80% effective at alleviating symptoms.

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