Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of hand numbness and pain. It’s more prevalent in women than in men.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow, tunnel-like structure within the wrist. The median nerve is located on the palm side of your hand (also called the carpal tunnel). 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.
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:
The most widespread indications of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Symptoms usually begin gradually, without experiencing a specific injury. Throughout the day, symptoms often occur when holding something, such as a phone, or when reading or driving. They 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. Consequently, these feelings may lead you to drop things.
For many individuals, carpal tunnel syndrome will progressively worsen without some sort of treatment. If symptoms are associated with an action or an occupation, the problem may not progress should the occupation or activity stop or change. If diagnosed and treated early, carpal tunnel syndrome is often relieved without surgery. In instances where the diagnosis is uncertain or 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. The brace prevents the irritation on the median nerve 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. Likewise, if work requirements cause symptoms, changing or modifying jobs may slow or stop the progress of the condition.
• Steroid injections. A corticosteroid injection will usually provide relief, but symptoms may reappear.