Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatments

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, is compressed or squeezed as it travels through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • Repetitive hand motions: Repeatedly performing the same hand and wrist motions, such as typing, using a mouse, or playing an instrument, can put pressure on the median nerve and cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause fluid retention and swelling, which can put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance, can increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Wrist injuries: A wrist injury, such as a fracture or sprain, can cause swelling and inflammation that can put pressure on the median nerve.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can vary, but may include:
  • Numbness or tingling in the hand and fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  • Pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm.
  • Weakness in the hand and fingers, making it difficult to grasp or hold objects.
  • A sensation of swelling or stiffness in the hand and fingers.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, rest and self-care measures may be sufficient. In more severe cases, medical intervention may be necessary.
  • Rest and self-care: Resting the affected hand and wrist, using cold packs to reduce swelling, and avoiding activities that worsen symptoms can help relieve mild carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Wrist splinting: Wearing a wrist splint at night can help keep the wrist in a neutral position, relieving pressure on the median nerve.
  • Corticosteroid injections: Injecting corticosteroids into the carpal tunnel can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
  • Surgery: If other treatments are not effective, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Surgery involves cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel, which can relieve pressure on the median nerve.

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, as early treatment can help prevent the condition from getting worse. Treatment options include rest and self-care measures, wrist splinting, medications, corticosteroid injections, and surgery. With proper treatment, most people with carpal tunnel syndrome can find relief from their symptoms. Click here to book now with one of our physiotherapists!

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