The Carpal Tunnel is the narrow passage way on the palm of the human hand which is surrounded by ligaments and bones. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) refers to a condition that affects this passage way. This is usually a result of pressure or irritation of the present median nerve. This nerve streams from the human forearm through the carpal passage to the human hand. It gives sensations to the thumbs and fingers with the exception of the pinky finger.
Symptoms of this syndrome include pain, numbness, clumsiness, weakness and a tingling sensation in the palm.
These symptoms could furthermore lead to difficulty in the use of the hand. It makes it difficult for one to perform simple tasks such as writing, holding small objects, typing or driving. It could further lead to the loss of sensation in the fingertips and the constant dropping of objects.
Pain is also a symptom of CTS. This symptom keeps patients uncomfortable and in need of immediate relief. There are medically approved CarpalAID tunnel products that have proven to provide lasting relief to the pains caused by CTS.
Causes of CTS
There is no exact cause of CTS. There are however, contributing factors to this syndrome. Below are ten factors that contribute to CTS:
- Bone or joint disease such as Arthritis.
- Hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy or menopause in women.
- Hereditary factors.
- Wrist or hand deformity.
- Hemodialysis (Blood filtering).
- Fracture of the wrist or dislocation.
- Inflammation of the tendons.
- Cyst in the carpal tunnel.
- Repetitive locomotive function of the fingers such as typing, writing or hammering.
This makes professionals in occupations that require the constant use of their hands and fingers at a higher risk of getting the syndrome.
Diagnosis of Median Nerve Compression
If you have doubt on whether you have CTS, it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner. A number of examinations will be carried out to diagnose if you have the syndrome.
These procedures include:
Your health practitioner will ask you questions concerning your observed symptoms. Symptoms usually include numbness, burning or itching sensation, inability to properly hold objects, feelings of pain, stiff fingers, and itchy palms amongst many others.
Questions asked would include the pattern or frequency of symptoms, sensations felt and your medical history. These will help the doctor to know whether your condition is as a result of factors that are hereditary or others.
Physical examination will also be conducted by your doctor. This will be used to test the feelings of sensations in your fingers. The muscles present in your hand will play a key role in determining this. This may include bending of the wrist or pressing of the nerve to trigger its symptoms.
Ultrasound is also recommended. This is to determine if there is compression of the nerve. It also gives a clear picture of the nerves and bones to detect any other abnormality. It makes use of sound waves to capture images from within the human body.
This is a diagnostic procedure that aims to measure electrical discharge produced by the muscles. It measures the response of the muscle to a nerve stimulation. This is also used to diagnose neuromuscular abnormalities.
During this process, a clinical needle electrode is inserted by your physician into the targeted muscles on your body. This is to analyze electrical activities when your muscles contract or are in resting positions.
Refer to this article for more information on the process of Electromyography.
Treatment For CTS
Treatment for CTS can be administered in two different ways: Surgically and Non-Surgically. If detected early, its symptom can be relieved and treated non-surgically. Non-Surgical technique includes the change of routine activities, regular exercises and the use of wrist braces to sleep.
This will ensure reduction of pressure that might affect the median nerve. However, in severe cases, surgical processes will be needed to treat this condition. The recommendation for a surgical process may also be as a result of your doctor’s findings from your physical examination and the severity of the symptoms.
This surgery may be done in two different techniques: Endoscopic or open surgery. They are further discussed below:
In this process, a device is used to see the inside of the carpal tunnel. The ligaments are then cut through incisions made by a surgeon.
Here, an incision is made on the palm over the narrow tunnel, cutting the ligament to get the nerve free.
Surgical process comes with its risk factors such as: scar formation and a wound infection. Endeavor to discuss with your health practitioner on the effects of a surgical procedure.
Preventing median nerve compression can be difficult. This is because it is caused by a number of activities engaged in daily. Making deliberate efforts at changing your normal physical positions decreases the chances of getting this syndrome. These include:
- Taking breaks from repetitive work activities.
- Performing stretching exercises before, during and after routine activities.
- Decreasing repetitive strong grasping of objects in a particular position.
- Proper treatment of any medical condition noticed especially associated with CTS.
- Sleeping in positions that do not add pressure to your wrist.
- Adjust workstation.
- Always maintain the right body posture.
If you notice any of the symptoms discussed in this article, do not hesitate to contact your doctor. Leaving these signs to linger could lead to a more chronic health condition. Remember to also incorporate preventive measures in your daily activities to prevent the risk of contracting this ailment.