What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by a nerve entangled in the wrist. (1)

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage to the palm of the wrist. One of the most important nerves in the hand – the median nerve – passes from this place in the wrist to the hand. (1)

The median nerve travels from the neck down to the arm through the arm. It controls the muscles at the base of the thumb. It also signals the brain about the thumb, the length of the testimony, and the thrill of the ring finger. (1)

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the carpal tunnel narrows or when the tissues around the tendons that pass through the carpal tunnel become swollen, putting pressure on the median nerve. (1)

Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are mild or may occur. Pain and other feelings start slowly and get worse over time. (1)

According to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience the following symptoms: (2)

Arguing or numbness You will usually feel tension and numbness in your thumb and index finger, middle or ring fingers – your little finger will not be affected. You may also feel a jolt in those fingers that can travel from your wrist to your arm.

You may experience these symptoms especially when you are driving, talking on the phone or holding a newspaper.

Weakness You may experience weakness in your hand. This weakness or numbness can cause you to drop things.

Causes and Risk Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Sometimes the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is obvious. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), for example, a bend or fracture of the wrist can narrow the carpal tunnel passage and pinch the median nerve. (3) or rheumatoid arthritis can cause painful swelling in the wrist joint. (2)

Many times, there is no single reason for this, or it is not clear why and why the middle nerve was pulled.

Most carpal tunnel cases are caused by a combination of factors. (3)

There are many risk factors that can increase your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

Women are 3 times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. (3)
The Mayo Clinic notes that hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause swelling of the wrist, which peaks the median nerve, especially during the last few months. (4)
Hormonal changes around menopause may put women at greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. (2)
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), heredity can be a significant risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. Traits that run in families – differences in wrist anatomy that create a hard passage, for example – can put some people at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. (1)
Obesity Mayo Clinic Obesity is a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. (2)
Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can cause swelling and inflammation around the tendons in your wrist and put pressure on the median nerve. (2)
Diabetes Nerve damage caused by diabetes makes some people more susceptible to this condition. (2)
Other medical conditions Some conditions, such as menopause, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, and lymphedema, may increase your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, some studies have shown a link between carpal tunnel syndrome and the use of aramidex (anastrozole), a drug used to treat breast cancer. (2)
Repeated hand and wrist use There is some evidence that prolonged use of the same hand and wrist pleasure can irritate the wrist tendon and put pressure on the median nerve. (2)
People thought that carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by excessive use of computer keyboards. According to the Mayo Clinic, some evidence suggests that mouse use and keyboard use may not be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there is no authoritative evidence to support the widespread use of computers as a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. (2)

But how you use your hands at work can play a role. According to NINDS, workplace factors can contribute to current stress or moderate nerve damage. The agency says those who work on the assembly line. For example, manufacturing, sewing and mat packing may be more at risk of developing CTS than data entry personnel. (3)

How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?

To make an accurate diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and use diagnostic imaging tests.

A review of your medical history, including your symptoms and general health, can help rule out other medical issues or related conditions that may cause wrist and hand pain. (3)

A physical examination of your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck can alert your doctor to signs of nerve damage.

Diagnostic imaging tests for CTS may include electro-diagnostic tests that assess neural function. These tests can rule out other neurological conditions. These tests include: (3)

Nerve Conduct Studies (NCS) Small electrodes tapped on the skin send a small shock through the median nerve to measure its electrical activity. If the electrical current goes slowly over the carpal tunnel, it indicates a nerve pinch.
Electromyogram (EMG) This test, which involves placing small needles in different muscles, can show if there is any damage to a muscle or nerve by measuring the effects of small electric shocks on the muscles of the hand.
Other diagnostic tests that can be done include: (1)

X-rays can help eliminate arthritis or bone fractures and allow your doctor to see abnormalities in the bone structure that may be responsible for the pain in your wrist.
An ultrasound is usually used only to rule out mass or lesions and can be helpful in exposing abnormalities of the median nerve and wrist bones and tendons. (1)

Prognosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

For most people, carpal tunnel syndrome worsens over time without any form of treatment. This process can be slow but requires early diagnosis and diagnosis by your doctor or your condition can cause permanent damage. (1)

Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome can be cured with minimal intervention. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have mild to moderate symptoms that have come and gone for less than 10 months, splitting and other conservative treatments can sometimes relieve the symptoms. (5)

If your condition is more serious and chronic, surgery may be your option. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you can expect rapid relief from many symptoms, including thrush in the hands. ()) It may take longer to get rid of numbness, even up to three months. According to the clinic, the success rate in surgery is over 90%.

However, in chronic cases where there is severe loss of feeling or loss of muscle around the base of the thumb, according to AAOS, some recovery is not possible and complete recovery is not possible for some patients. (1)

Duration of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Without proper treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can last for months or years.

Symptoms do not usually go away on their own.

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by hormonal changes and swelling during pregnancy, it usually goes away on its own after pregnancy and does not require surgery. (1)

Treatment and Medication Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is treated in two ways: irrationally and with surgery. Rarely, severe cases are treated with medication.

Surgery may be necessary when your symptoms are severe or if they do not respond to other treatments.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, most people can relieve the symptoms of a carcinogenic tunnel with unnecessary treatment. (7)

Non-therapeutic treatment options include:

Separation of the carpal tunnel brace wrist is often the first line of treatment for CTS. Wearing a splint or curve around your wrist keeps your wrist in a neutral or straight position and can help reduce the pressure on the median nerve. Wearing a brace at night can prevent you from twisting your wrist while sleeping. Wearing a brace during daytime activities can also help increase your symptoms. (1)
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicine OTC pain medications, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), naproxen (Aliva), or aspirin, may temporarily relieve pain and swelling but They will not cure the underlying cause. (3)
Steroid injections Corticosteroid injections can provide some temporary relief to the wrist and hand. (1)
Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome:

Surgery can be a very effective treatment for CTS. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain does not go away after trying more conservative treatment options, such as split or steroid injections, or if your nerves have been damaged.

This procedure, called carpal tunnel release surgery, involves cutting the joint around the wrist to relieve pressure on the middle nerve. After surgery, the ligament expands and passes through the nerves and tendons, leaving more room in the carpal tunnel to return. (1)

There are two ways to perform carpal release surgery according to AAOS: (1)

Release the open carpal tunnel Your surgeon will make a small incision to open your wrist and close the carpal tunnel joint.
Release the endoscopic carpal tunnel Your surgeon makes two small incisions, one on the palm and the other on the wrist. A small camera is inserted into an incision. Your doctor uses a camera to guide him, using a small knife to cut the vein that enters the other incision.
Alternative and complementary therapies
According to NINDS, some individuals have benefited from acupuncture and chiropractic care, and some research supports their use with some side effects. (16, 17) Yoga has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. (3)

According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel exercises, especially when combined with other treatments such as wrist straps or behavioral modifications (such as not making sure to extend your wrist while typing) May help relieve symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic.


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