Carpal tunnel syndrome
Treatment for carpal tunnel
Apart from the usual soreness and aches from overuse, it can be more concerning when you start feeling tingling, weakness or numbness in your hands.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
When your carpal tunnel gets pinched or compressed, this can put pressure on your median nerve. This is a form of entrapment neuropathy and is the most common one that happens in your body. Some carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
Tingling or numbness
You may start to feel numbness or tingling in your fingers, especially your thumb to your middle finger and a part of your ring finger. Your little or fifth finger should feel normal. Some patients have also described the feeling like an electric shock in their palms and fingers.
- The tingling and numbness can also spread up your arm
- You may notice these sensations when you are using your hands such as when you are driving, using your phone, typing or even during sleep
Another symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is sometimes weakness in your hand. You may find it harder to hold on to items or that you are dropping things. This weakness is usually because your median nerve controls your thumbs ability to pinch close, or the muscles in the pad of your thumb.
If the main symptom you feel is pain in your wrist, you may have a different wrist problem and not carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The typical causes of carpal tunnel syndrome may be overuse related, genetics or if you have another health condition.
Some of the factors of your work may be contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Things to consider include:
- How much vibration are you exposed to while you work
- Is your work repetitive
- The amount of force you need to use
- Your position while working
Generally, if your work is highly repetitive meaning doing the same thing over and over again, it may be a factor in your symptoms. Research behind the potential connections between work duties and carpal tunnel syndrome is still ongoing.
It is possible that genetics may make someone more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome.
Related health conditions
There are a number of other health conditions that can contribute to the likelihood of you having carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of these include:
- Arthritis: due to inflammation of your forearm tendons
- Obesity: people who are obese are more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome
- Old fracture of your wrist
- Pregnancy: hormone changes may lead to water retention such as in your carpal tunnel
- Tumors: can compress your carpal tunnel
- Other contributors include medication use and diabetes
In addition to carpal tunnel syndrome, other types of wrist problems include:
- deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis
- Tendonitis of your wrist
- Wrist sprain
Home Tips To Help Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ice: to keep the inflammation and swelling down
- Ergonomics: having a good desk or work setup may be helpful
- Shake: some people find gently shaking their wrists sometimes helps their symptoms
- Wrist splint: keeps your wrists in a better position while you sleep to prevent bending them too much or for too long
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
In addition to the home tips, there are several treatments available to help you if you are having carpal tunnel syndrome. Your physiotherapist can help you with:
- Helping you find the best carpal tunnel brace
- How to best modify your work routines and setup
- Manual therapy
- Proper rehab exercises for your wrist
- Use of electrical modalities
Other treatments can include carpal tunnel surgery and medication.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using a wrist guard at night may help keep your wrist in a more neutral position. This can prevent tension from building up around your wrist and reduce your chances of having carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
They can make suggestions on proper ergonomic setup, provide treatment to relieve pain as well as guide on you the best wrist supports and braces to use