Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), also known as median nerve entrapment, is a painful condition caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. You may suffer from CTS if your median nerve swells, tendons are inflamed, or the carpal tunnel swells. Possible symptoms include numbness, burning, itching, or tingling of the fingers and the palm. Without treatment, CTS can hurt people’s quality of life with severe damage to the median nerve causing permanent numbness in the fingers and permanent weakness in the muscles stimulated by the median nerve.
Symptoms of CTS
There are three main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome; pain, tingling, and numbness of the thumb and the two fingers adjacent to it. Sometimes the pain may extend into the rest of the hand and the forearm. If you are suffering from CTS, you may find it harder to grasp small objects, form a fist, and lose grip strength. Simple activities like buttoning your shirt, opening a soda bottle, or typing on a computer keyboard may become difficult and painful. CTS symptoms develop over time, and if left untreated, you may not be able to differentiate between hot and cold, and the muscles at the base of your thumb may wither away. Keeping the hand in the same position is likely to worsen the condition.
Typical Causes of CTS
According to American Family Physician, the prevalence of CTS in adults ranges from three to six percent, making it the most common entrapment neuropathy. The most common cause of CTS is repetitive wrist movement, which is the reason; it is most commonly associated with using computer keyboards. However, the underlying reason is the narrowing of the carpal tunnel due to the tendons inside becoming inflamed or due to some other swelling that exerts pressure on the median nerve.
While there can be various reasons for CTS, it is more likely in persons using their wrists to the extreme, exposure to strong vibration, and repetitive use of fingers. Additionally, some established causes of CTS include pregnancy, rheumatoid, degenerative, and inflammatory arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes, swelling around the tendons, wrist lesions, and tumors in the carpal tunnel. Certain occupations involving a repetitive motion of the hands may also cause CTS, says a Fall River Pain control clinic consultant. To visit the clinic follow the map..
Treatment of CTS
Typical treatment of CTS involves reducing the pressure on the median nerve by eliminating the cause, medication, or surgery. If the symptoms are mild, you may get relief even without any treatment just by reducing the repetitive movement of fingers and hands. Resting the hand and wrist can significantly reduce discomfort. You can also use cold compresses, wear wrist splints, apply painkilling ointments, and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If nothing works well, doctors may advise surgery.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is quite common, and the symptoms can worsen without appropriate treatment leading to severe pain and loss of motion in the fingers, hands, and arms. You can use home remedies to get relief but may require steroid injections or even surgery in case of severe cases.
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