What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when nerves become pinched as a result of increased nerve pressure and swelling. Hand nerves provide feeling and power to the palm and fingers. If the nerves become pinched, you will likely experience numbness, or a tingling sensation. In some instances, pain may radiate from the hand into the arm.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The majority of people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome are unable to pinpoint the exact cause. However, repetitive movements have been linked to carpal tunnel. For this matter, the condition is common among people whose job entails typing on computer keyboards. Additionally, the condition is also present in persons who spend many hours playing video games.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Initially, the symptoms of carpal tunnel are very vague. In fact, many people may simply assume that they have hurt their hand engaging in other activities. Then again, carpal tunnel has a habit of disappearing. For example, one may experience signs of carpal tunnel after typing a long research paper, but symptoms do not remain.
Early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome involve:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Feeling of numbness in fingers or hand (fingers may occasionally “fall asleep’)
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Tingling sensation in hands
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Pain radiating into the forearm
If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen. This may result is complete loss of feeling and strenght in the hands and fingers. Fortunately, there are treatments available, and the recovery time is relatively quick.
Ways to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Avoiding Repetitive Motions – Although difficult to completely stop all repetitive motions contributing to carpal tunnel syndrome, those living with this condition should take computer or typing breaks and rest their hands.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Use a Splint or Wristband – In some instances, wearing a support brace or splint can relieve nerve pressure, which will ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Medications – Inflammatory drugs such as Advil or Motrin can help ease sharp pains. In severe cases, physicians may recommend prescription medications or steroid injections.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Surgery – If the condition does not respond to treatment, surgery is an option. Carpal tunnel surgery entails cutting the ligament or ligaments which cause pressure and pain.