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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an ailment affecting the wrist and hand. The nerve controlling feeling and movement in the wrist and hand involved in carpal tunnel syndrome is the median nerve. It lies in a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. CTS may causes tingling or numbness in your hand and wrist or a sharp, piercing pain shoots through the wrist and up your arm.
CTS is common in some occupations such as transcriptionists, cashiers, butchers, and janitors. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
The common signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, tingling, numbness, and weak grip (a tendency to drop something) in the wrist, hand, and fingers.
Symptoms often improve when the hand is wrung or shaken. Some people feel discomfort in the upper arm and shoulder. Symptoms often worsen at night and can interfere with sleep.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor, especially if the symptoms affect your daily routine. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
In CTS, the tunnel becomes narrow because of swelling in the wrist. The smaller tunnel squeezes the median nerve, which causes pain and other symptoms.
Moving the hand and wrist repeatedly in the same way, such as typing, writing, and using a computer mouse, can cause CTS.
Pregnant women often get CTS because their hormones change and they retain fluid. Several illnesses, for example, muscle and bone disorders, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), and diabetes, can also increase risk of CTS.
There are many risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome, such as:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
The doctor examines the wrist, and to cause symptoms, will tap it over the median nerve and will bend it and hold it there for a few seconds. Special tests (EMG) to check the wrist’s nerves and muscles may also be done.
Treatment involves two steps. The first is a lifestyle change: stop doing whatever caused CTS. This change may be hard if it involves a job, but talk to your employer.
Sometimes simple changes, such as using a wrist pad while typing so your wrist is in a better position, help. A physical therapist or occupational therapist can suggest ways to do things differently.
The second step is to take pressure off the median nerve. Medicine, wrist splints, and surgery are usually used. A wrist splint at night is best, but some people wear a splint during the day.
Pills give relief for a short time by decreasing inflammation. Medicine can also be injected into the wrist and can help for a longer period.
Surgery to make more room for the nerve is the best way to reduce pressure on the nerve when other treatments are ineffective. With surgery, you usually get better quickly, but you should rest your wrist for at least 6 weeks to promote healing and avoid new symptoms.
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What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage carpal tunnel syndrome?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with carpal tunnel syndrome:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.