03 Dec Overview Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure on the median nerve leads to tingling, pain and numbness in the hand. There are a number of causes including some illnesses, obesity and pregnancy. “Carpal tunnel” comes from the name of the small space in the wrist where the median nerve and a number of tendons run from the forearm to the hand. The median nerve is responsible for giving all but the little finger their feeling and controlling the movements of the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can result from anything that makes the space smaller including swelling. Some illnesses, such as underactive thyroid or rheumatoid arthritis, can make the carpal tunnel swell. For many people, making the same movements repeatedly with their hands will result in developing the condition. The resulting pain may occur in the hand or in the area between your hand and your elbow.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel may first appear while you are sleeping. Shaking the affected hand can bring relief. If you seek medical treatment, you will be asked about any health problems you may have which contribute to the condition or whether you have had any recent injuries to the area or to your neck. You may be asked about your normal daily activities to determine if an injury might have occurred to your neck. You may also be given blood tests or have your nerve tested.
The Impact of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The extent of pain and discomfort brought on by carpal tunnel syndrome is not understood by many people until they develop it themselves. For those who work in a job that requires them to repeat the same action with their hand and/or wrist every day, the pain and numbness caused by the condition can make performing their job difficult to impossible. Small, restricted movements performed with the hand held downward are those that will have the greatest potential for causing the syndrome.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel occurs as a gradual degradation which responds to treatment much more effectively when caught early. Pain doctors will start by ruling out any other conditions known to cause similar symptoms. Doctors will also look for warmth, tenderness and discoloration of the wrist. For those individuals who have lost any degree of function to the hand, tests may be performed to test the strength and agility of the hand to determine if hardening of the muscles has occurred.
Patients are offered a variety of treatments depending on the extent of the condition they are experiencing. Pain medication is typically used as a primary treatment with physical therapy being incorporated into the treatment plan to strength the muscles. Bracing and steroid injections are also treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Texas Pain Network of San Antonio offer an array of pain management treatments for a variety of conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome. If the pain and numbness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are interfering with your ability to work and enjoy your favorite activities, they can provide you with the personalized treatment plan you need to get pain relief. Their skilled and experienced pain doctors can help you like they have helped so many other San Antonio residents.