4 Facts You Should Be Aware Of About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Fact #1 What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The word Carpus derived from the Greek language and means “wrist”. A person’s wrist is surrounded by fibrous tissue that supports the joint. The tight space between the wrist bone and the fibrous band is called carpal tunnel. Median nerve goes through the carpal tunnel and receives sensations from person’s thumb, index and middle fingers. Median nerve can be irritated by any condition that causes a change of the tissue position or swelling. This median nerve irritation causes numbness and tingling of the thumb, middle fingers and index. This condition is widely known as “carpal tunnel syndrome”.

Fact #2 Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually with frequent tingling, burning or itching numbness in the fingers (especially thumb, index and middle fingers) and palm. Some people who have this disease claim that their fingers are swollen and useless. The symptoms first appear on both or one hand during one night as many people have their wrists flexed in their sleep. So they might wake up in the middle of the night to shake out their hands. Worse symptoms are: constant tingling, difficulties to form a fist, take small objects or do some manual tasks. Some can’t tell the difference between cold and hot.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fact #3 Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Non-surgical treatment:

Exercises. There are strengthening and stretching exercises which can be helpful in some conditions. They can be supervised by an occupational therapist (the one that is trained to evaluate people with impairments and help to build certain skills to improve well-being and health) or a physical therapist (the one that is trained to treat physical impairments).

Drugs. In different circumstances drugs may make it easier to overcome this disease. However, before buying some medicine online or in drugstores we recommend you to consult your doctor.

Alternative therapies. Chiropractic and acupuncture care have benefited some people, however, their effectiveness is still unproved. Yoga is an exception, as it reduces pain and proved to improve grip strength.

Surgery:

Surgical release of this disease is one of the most common operations carried out in the US. Generally, surgery is recommended if the symptoms last for half a year.

Open release surgery. It’s a traditional procedure which consists of making an incision of 2 inches and cutting carpal ligament to make the carpal tunnel larger. It is usually done under local anesthesia.

Endoscopic surgery. This may allow faster recovery and less discomfort than a traditional method of surgery. The surgeon cuts two incisions in the patient’s wrist, inserts a special camera to observe the tissue and cuts the carpal ligament. This surgery is also performed under local anesthesia and is rather effective. There is an opportunity for minimizing scars.

Although the disease symptoms may be relieved right after the surgery, full recovery from the disease may take months.

Fact #4 Carpal tunnel syndrome exercises

The following exercise may help to prevent the disease.

  • Extend and stretch wrists and fingers as if in a hand-stand position. Count to 5 still holding them.
  • Straighten wrists and relax fingers.
  • Use both hands to make a tight fist.
  • Bend down the wrists keeping the fist. Count to 5.
  • Straighten wrists and relax fingers.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times. Afterwards shake your arms and hands for several seconds.

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