A Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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For many people who work with their hands, carpal tunnel syndrome is something that they can develop at an early age.

There are others who may develop this due to accidents that they have had with their hands.

However, developed, those who deal with this find that it is a problem that can affect their daily functioning, and can also be one of the ways that they deal with pain daily.

The Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are several causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, with many of these being illnesses that most people are not aware of that could be causing their pain. These causes include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Making the same movement with hands over and over, such as those who spend their day on a keyboard
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking, as this limits the blood flow in the area
  • Tumors or growths, which are uncommon
  • Being female, as more females have this issue than men
  • Being obese
  • Having multiple sclerosis

The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome all come back to the median nerve being damaged in some way. This can be from trauma or just a fluid buildup around this area.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom that people have when they are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome is having pain in the hands that also involves some wrist pain.

However, there are numerous other symptoms associated with this issue. These symptoms include:

  • Tingling in the fingers
  • Numbness in the fingers or the entire hand
  • Weakness
  • Pain in the arm radiating between the wrist and elbow

It is important to note that most people experience more symptoms at night, after they have completed a day’s work.

In addition, while there may be pain and numbness in the fingers, most people report that their little finger has no issues. This is due to there being a separate nerve that runs through this little finger.

The symptoms are going to appear gradually. However, when they do make an appearance, you will immediately notice a difference.

The good news is that with changing your methods of using your hands along with the other suggestions in upcoming sections, you can avoid permanent damage the nerve running in this area.

If you fail to make changes or do not get help in any way, this can cause permanent damage to the median nerve, meaning these symptoms will always be present.

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In most cases, a doctor can make a diagnosis based on the symptoms that you are having.

However, he or she may also look at blood tests to determine if there are underlying issues such as arthritis, hypothyroidism or diabetes.

During an exam, the doctor is going to look at the strength that the hands have, along with the appearance of muscles throughout the hands, arms and the neck.

In some cases, nerve tests are done to determine the extent of the damage that is being seen.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Aside from changing the way in which you utilize your hands and wrists, there are treatment options that can be included with these changes to make a difference.

CapralCure Wrist Brace

The CapralCure Wrist Brace

This is a great treatment option that can help you in keeping your wrist in the proper position to alleviate the nerve pain that you are feeling.

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Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Home Treatments

There are several home treatments that can be utilized as well. However, these may not work for everyone. A few treatment options include:

  • Ice the wrist for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Taking NSAID’s for the pain
  • A simple wrist splint

Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome is going to take time to get accustomed to. Why is this?

Most people have to find a new way of how they do things, even those simple things that they do daily.

It can be hard to make these changes after years of doing something an entirely different way. Here are a few recommendations that can help with dealing with the symptoms:

  1. Switch hands when doing tasks with your hands, if possible. For those who use both hands, this can be an impossible task to complete.
  2. Learn how to relax your shoulders, as this can help to relieve some of the pain that you may be feeling in the hands and wrists.
  3. When utilizing a keyboard, be sure to keep wrists straight and to keep the hands a bit higher than the wrists. This position can prevent these nerves from becoming damaged further and causing symptoms.
  4. Always use your whole hand when picking up objects instead of using only your fingers.
  5. If possible, keep the wrist in a neutral position to help relieve the stress in the area.

Medicines and Surgery Prescribed

In many cases, when carpal tunnel syndrome is severe, doctors may prescribe medications like corticosteroids, however, they try to avoid this as they are very powerful and have side effects.

These corticosteroids can be injected into the problem area as well. The other option is to go in and surgically clip the nerve causing the issue.

While this is not a major surgery, there are worries that must be taken into consideration before utilizing these methods.