Carpal tunnel syndrome arises when there is repeated pressure on your median nerve. The carpal tunnel is actually a narrow passage-way that is surrounded by ligaments and bones on your palm. When the median nerve gets compressed, you can experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in your hand and arm.
Unfortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that will worsen over time without proper care. It affects between one and five percent of the adult population, according to Medline Plus.
- Weakness when you grip objects with one or both hands
- A feeling of “pins and needles” in your fingers
- Pain or numbness in one or both hands
- Swollen feeling in your fingers
- Burning or tingling in your fingers, particularly the thumb, and index and middle fingers
- Pain or numbness that worsens at night, interrupting your sleep patterns
Now that you know the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, let’s take a look at the top causes of this condition that affects women 3x more often than men.
- Small, frequent, repetitive movements with the hands (i.e., using a keyboard)
- Frequent, repetitive, grasping motions with the hands (sports and certain physical activities)
- Joint or bone disease (i.e., arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis)
- Hormonal or metabolic changes (i.e., menopause, thyroid imbalance, pregnancy)
- Changes in blood sugar levels (i.e., Type 2 diabetes)
- Other injuries or conditions of the wrist (i.e., strain, sprain, break, dislocation, swelling, inflammation)
- Family history
In addition to the above causes, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Those factors include:
- Anatomy: Some people just have naturally narrower carpal tunnels, making it easier for the median nerve to get pinched.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to get carpal tunnel syndrome, probably due to their smaller carpal tunnels
- Nerve-damaging conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
- Changes in bodily fluid levels: Fluid retention increases pressure inside the carpal tunnel, which in turn puts pressure on the median nerve.
There are ways you can slow the onset and reduce the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. You can:
- Maintain a relaxed grip
- Take frequent breaks from prolonged hand and finger use
- Avoid overextending your wrist
- Use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse
- Keep your hands warm
- Try stretching and strengthening exercises, either on your own or with a physical or occupational therapist
- Splint your hand to keep your wrist from moving.
If none of these work, medication management and corticosteroid injections, as well as non-surgical and surgical treatments may be pursued to provide relief of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Contact Summit Spine and Joint Centers for Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Let us provide non-surgical relief for your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. We would be happy to sit down and discuss our non-invasive pain treatments that can help you finally find relief. Call us for a free consultation today at 770-962-3642 and make an appointment to visit one our 24 pain centers including our featured new location for Pain Management in Lithia Springs, GA.