Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the medical condition where you experience tingling, numbness and other symptoms of weakness on your arms and hands. It is the painful condition which is caused due to unnecessary pressure on the median nerve which runs through the length of your arms and passes through the narrow passage in the wrist called carpal tunnel and then ends in hand. The role of the median nerve is to control the feeling and movement of thumb and also the other fingers excluding the pinky finger. Health complications, repetitive hand motions and anatomy of your wrists contribute towards Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. With proper treatment plans, the symptoms of tingling and numbness can be fixed.
The feeling of itching, numbness, tingling and burning in palms of your hand and thumbs, as well as the middle and index finger, is the serious signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some of the patients may also experience that their fingers are falling asleep and becoming senseless during the night. This starts happening from the evening, especially when you are in a relaxed position. In the morning you may also find your fingers are numb and you are having tingling signs in hands which may radiate to your shoulder.
As mentioned, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused due to unnecessary pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs through the forearms to the passageway in the wrist and ends at your hand. It provides smooth movement of thumb and fingers and sensation to your sides of your palm. The median nerve also offers the nerve signals for movement of the muscles at the base of the thumb. Any condition affecting the functioning of the median nerve or squeezing it in the carpal tunnel may lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Wrist fracture causes the carpal tunnel to narrow down and irritates the nerve and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause inflammation and swelling to the carpal tunnel.
The diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is based on question and answer session and the severity of the symptoms. Doctors may ask you about the history of the symptoms and based on it there will perform certain examination including the physical examination, and X-Rays. Electromyogram is the test that evaluates the tiny electrical discharges produced in muscles. Nerve conduction study is also performed by doctors so as to rule out the underlying conditions which are causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in patients.
If the diagnosis is done timely, non-surgical procedures can help improvise the conditions. Some of the non-surgical procedure includes:
Surgery is only prescribed when the symptoms are serious and the traditional treatments are not responding. The prime focus of the surgical procedures is to reduce the pressure on the median nerve by cutting ligament pressing the nerve. There are two different types of surgery performed by the doctors in treatment severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This includes:
The most common risk factors associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
The complications of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are still uncommon but it includes weakness and atrophy of muscles at the base of your thumb in hand and palm. This can be the permanent complications if it is not treated early and it can lead to the dexterity of affected fingers.
There are certain measures and tricks which can help you reduce the chance of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and this includes:
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