Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
CTS, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome, is caused by extreme stress on the median nerve that receives sensations from the arm. However, the median nerve present in the hand can be pinched or squeezed under intense pressure, which may cause irritation, tingling and numbness in the middle finger, thumb, and index finger. The condition may compromise with the function of the hand and cause intense weakness.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Swelling of tendons as a result of repetitive wrist and hand movements can cause pressure on the median nerve as well as on the carpal tunnel. A range of factors can cause CTS, which may include patterns of hand use, repeated hand movements, overworking of hand muscles, underlying health problems, and anatomy of your wrist. All of this could cause swelling of the flexor tendons, without leaving any space for the expansion of the inflamed tendons, resulting in their suppressing the median nerve. This may also put intense pressure on the carpal tunnel, affecting its normal function.
Tight muscles and swollen tendons lead to a collapse of blood-carrying structures and fibrosis of the median nerve. As a result, the median nerve is not able to perform its normal functioning, resulting in pain, loss of motor functions, numbness, burning, and tingling.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It all begins with the numbing of hands. The patient also begins to experience tingling of fingers, which is more pronounced at night.
- Pain in the elbow, writs, hand
- Difficulty gripping objects
- Numbness/tingling in thumb, fingers, and palm
- Burning sensation in the forearm
- Problems in making hand/ wrist movement
- Sensation loss in fingers, thumb
- Constant pain in the upper shoulder
All of these symptoms can become too difficult to bear, often waking you up from sleep. If left untreated, the condition may result in atrophy of hand muscles.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Risk Factors
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
The doctor may for signs of swelling, warmth, tenderness, deformity, or discoloration in your wrist, which are typical symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. A nerve conduction velocity test may be conducted to measure the rate of electrical impulses.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, stretching and exercises, and hot and cold compresses, depending on the severity of your condition. Therapeutic corticosteroid injections are often given for patients suffering from chronic carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Release surgery is often the last treatment option if conservative treatment fails to provide long-term relief