Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of hand numbness and pain. It’s more prevalent in women than men.
Anatomy of the wrist
The carpal tunnel is a narrow, tunnel-like structure within the wrist. Underneath and the sides of the tunnel are formed by wrist (carpal) bones. A strong band of connective tissue referred to as the transverse carpal ligament protects the top of the tunnel. The carpal tunnel protects the median nerve and flexor tendons that bend the fingers and thumb.
Cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome takes place when the tissues around the flexor tendons inside the wrist swell and place pressure about the median nerve. This swelling on the synovium narrows the confined space of the carpal tunnel, and with time, crowds the nerve. Numerous things play a role in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:
• Heredity is the most essential factor – carpal tunnels are smaller in certain people, which can run in families.
• Hand use after a while can play a part.
• Hormonal changes linked to pregnancy can play a part.
• Age – the condition occurs more often in older population.
• Medical ailments, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance can also play a part.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most widespread indications of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
• Numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand
• An electric shock-like feeling mostly in the thumb, index, and long fingers
• Strange sensations and pain traveling up the armtoward the shoulder
Symptoms usually begin gradually, without experiencing a specific injury. Through the day, symptoms frequently occur when holding something, such as a phone, or when reading or driving. Moving or shaking hands often helps decrease symptoms. Symptoms initially appear and disappear, but after a while they will often become constant. A sense of clumsiness or weakness tends to make delicate motions, like buttoning your shirt, difficult. These feelings may lead you to drop things.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
For many individuals, carpal tunnel syndrome will progressively worsen without some sort of treatment. However it could be modified or stopped during the early stages. For instance, if symptoms are clearly associated with an action or occupation, the problem may well not progress should the occupation or activity stop or modify. If diagnosed and treated early, carpal tunnel syndrome is often relieved without surgery. In instances where the diagnosis is uncertain or even the condition is mild to moderate, your chiropractor will invariably try simple treatment measures first.
• Bracing or splinting. A brace or splint worn during the night keeps the wrist in a very neutral position. This prevents the nightly irritation on the median nerve that happens when wrists are curled whilst sleeping. Splints may also be worn during activities that aggravate symptoms.
• Medications. Simple medications can certainly help relieve pain. These medications include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like voltaren.
• Activity changes. Changing patterns of hand use in order to avoid positions and activities that aggravate the symptoms can be helpful. If work requirements cause symptoms, changing or modifying jobs may slow or stop progress of the condition.
• Steroid injections. A corticosteroid injection will usually provide relief, but symptoms may reappear.