Learning About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
by TIM SHANNAHAN- Chiropractor, San Diego, CA
December 15, 2018
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which passes through the hand, is compressed. This nerve allows you the ability to feel various parts of your hand, so those areas can feel numb or painful when the nerve is compressed. The swelling that occurs inside the wrist can cause compression and this syndrome to happen.
What Causes The Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel generally occurs because of excess pressure to the wrist and sometimes even obstructed blood flow. There are a number of conditions that are linked to the ailment such as fractures or trauma to the wrist, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and more. The syndrome can also come on and be made worse by overextending the wrist repeatedly. That repeated motion contributed to swelling and makes things more painful and numb. Many people who use keyboards incorrectly, for example, can develop the condition. Those who use power or hand tools that vibrate could develop it as well. Any repetitive motion that overextends the wrist, even playing piano, can be a cause of Carpal Tunnel.
Who’s At Risk?
Women are actually way more likely to have carpal tunnel than men and lifestyle factors make people more at risk as well. Those who smoke, are sedentary, take in a lot of salt, or have a high body mass index are more likely to develop it. Those who work in keyboarding, construction, assembly line, or manufacturing have a higher risk as well.
How Does Diagnosis Work?
If your fingers are numb, tingling, or in pain and that burning travels up your arm, you might have the ailment, It might even interrupt your sleep or disrupt your everyday life in other ways. Doctors will diagnose the issue through a physical exam, questions about your history, and nerve conduction study tests.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
If you think you might have carpal tunnel, you likely now want to know how to get rid of it since it’s painful and bothersome. There are nonsurgical options that include avoiding positions that caused it, wrist splints, mild medication to reduce inflammation, and treating underlying issues, like diabetes. There can also be steroid injections to the area to reduce inflammation. If the damage is severe, there are surgical options to consider as well.
Preventing Carpal Tunnel From Occurring
The best thing to do is prevent carpal tunnel in the first place. You can reduce your lifestyle so you aren’t facing as many risks. Treat conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes to decrease your risks. Also pay close attention to your hand posture and positioning whenever you are typing or doing other repetitive work. If you do contract the ailment, it can be changed and turned around if you catch onto things early enough. You can see long-term improvements and even an elimination of the symptoms. If you leave carpal tunnel alone, however, it could lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of hand functions. To treat or prevent carpal tunnel, contact the specialists at Inner Balance to work with you at whatever stage you are in.