Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Exercises

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If you are facing any sort of numbness or weakness in your hand, then you need to consult a doctor at the earliest. This may be the first sign that you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually caused due to pressure on the median nerve that runs through a small passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve is said to control the feeling and movement of your thumb. Most people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome have no idea as to what would have caused this syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes:

There are many factors that can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. Primarily speaking, if your median nerve is on pressure this may trigger the syndrome. Also, inflammation can cause swelling in your wrists and block the flow of blood. Moreover, here are some other ways in which this syndrome is caused.

Note: Repetitive motions of your wrist are one of the easiest ways in which you can develop this syndrome. Make it a point to consult a doctor if you are facing any sort of numbness and tingling in your hands. This may seem like something simple that can be avoided, but if left untreated, its symptoms are long-lasting and can get worse in future. The earlier it is diagnosed, the faster you can get away with it.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms:

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be identified if you acknowledge some of these below-listed symptoms. It is hard to trace some of its symptoms because most people treat it like something very common. Usually, you will begin to experience pain in your wrists because the median nerve gets compressed. This will make your hand feel numb and you may tend to drop things which you pick up. Here are some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Numbness in the hand, wrist, thumb and fingers
  • Pain and burning sensation in your arm
  • Severe wrist pain when you sleep
  • Muscle weakness in your hand.

Note: If you are facing any of the above-listed symptoms, then you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible because if this is left untreated it can trigger other medical complications.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment:

This syndrome can be dangerous for you if it is left untreated. However, you need to seek immediate medical consultation in order to avoid further medical complications. Once you notice any of the above-listed symptoms, you need to consult a doctor at the earliest and get yourself diagnosed. Here is a list of treatments that will be used to cure the syndrome.

1. Surgery:

Surgery is usually advised only in severe cases because other treatments do not work well for your condition. The ultimate aim of a carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure by cutting the ligament that’s pressing the median nerve. Moreover, there are two types of surgery that are performed based on the degree of the problem.

  • Open Surgery: In this type of surgery the carpal tunnel will be through in order to free the nerve.
  • Endoscopic Surgery: In this type of surgery, the surgeon will use a telescopic device that has a tiny camera attached to it in order to confirm what’s inside your carpal tunnel. Once this is confirmed, the surgeon will cut two small incisions in your wrist. This surgery will lessen the pain.

Risks of Surgery:

Before opting for the surgery, make it a point to sit with the concerned medical practitioner and discuss the potential risks that you may be prone to after the surgery. If the surgery has not been conducted in the right manner, you may tend to face the following after-effects.

  • Skin Scars
  • Nerve injuries
  • Wound infection
  • Incomplete release of the ligament

2. Non-surgical Therapy:

This type of treatment does not involve surgery because the syndrome has been identified in its early stages. This treatment involves certain kinds of treatments such as:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): The doctor may prescribe ibuprofen that will help reduce the pain from the carpal tunnel in a short period of time.
  • Wrist Splinting: A doctor may prescribe a splint that will help relieve pain when you sleep during the night. This is usually good for pregnant mothers.
  • Injection: In order to relieve pain, your doctor may inject your carpal tunnel with a corticosteroid. This is said to reduce inflammation and swelling on the median nerve.

Carpal Tunnel Home Remedies:

This syndrome can be dangerous if it is left untreated and as a result, you need to make sure that you consult a doctor at the earliest. The best first aid that you can take in order to prevent this syndrome from harming you is by simply following these home remedies and being safe. However, these home remedies are considered temporary because this needs to be treated medically.

  • Do not strain your wrist by exercising too much.
  • If you are overweight, make it a point to burn some calories and get on the lighter side.
  • Also, make sure that you rotate your hands and stretch your fingers sometimes. This will be like a simple exercise that you can do.
  • Wear a wrist splint before you go to bed.
  • Do not sleep on your hands.
  • If you have severe pain in your wrists, then soak it in ice for 10 to 15 minutes once every hour.
  • In order to relieve pain, you can rest your hand in a hanging position on the side of the bed.
  • Make sure you buy a wrist splint and wear it so that you can keep your hand intact.
  • You can also immerse your hand in lukewarm water every hour for 15 minutes. This will relieve the pain.

Note: All of the above-listed home remedies are temporary and can relieve pain only for a few hours. It is advised that you consult a doctor at the earliest. Do not delay your appointment as this can lead to complications where a doctor may recommend surgery which has its risk too.

Other Home Remedies:

The above-listed home remedies are for a start that can help relieve the pain on a temporary basis. However, there are some more serious home remedies that you can follow too.

  • Yoga: You can follow some yoga postures such as stretching, balancing your upper body and this can get rid of the pain.
  • Hand Therapy: This includes certain kinds of exercises for your wrist that will help your wrist get relaxed.
  • Ultrasound Therapy: An ultrasound therapy can be used to increase the temperature of the affected area of your wrist and this will reduce the pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises:

There are many ways in which you can reduce the pain and ensure that you prevent this syndrome from affecting you again. The first time you try to do hand exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to keep in mind that this is a time-consuming affair and it involves pain. So at first, you need to gently start doing it. Here is a list of exercises that will help you relieve pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

1. Shake Your Hands:

This is a simple exercise, wherein you can shake your hands with any person and this will make your wrists feel loose. This can be done in the night before you go to bed or when the symptoms are worse. If you are facing any sort of numbness in your wrists or hand, all you need to do is to shake your hands and this will allow the blood to circulate, thus taking off the numbness.

2. Fist Your Hand:

You can close your wrists and make it seem like your about to fist someone. Gently do this and you may begin feeling better in some time. All you need to do is to open and close your fingers for 5 to 10 minute and this would do you good.

3. Touch All Fingers to Thumb:

Gently place all of your fingers on your thumb for 5 minutes till it appears to be in O-form. You need to repeatedly do this 5 times slowly and gently. Make sure that you do not strain too much as this can lead to more pain and strain in your wrists.

4. Wrist Stretch Exercise:

In order to perform this exercise, here are simple points that you need to keep in mind.

  • Firstly, you need to sit down towards a table.
  • Then, gently rest your elbow and arm on the table and let it hang over the side. This will allow the flow of blood more easily.
  • Now bend your hand till your fingers focus towards the ceiling. Make sure that you hold this for 5 seconds and then bend your hand down so that your fingers focus the floor.

Note: Repeat all of the above-listed steps for 10 times daily and you will see that the pain is reducing.

5. Nerve Relaxation Exercise:

Similar to that of the wrist stretching exercise, here is an exercise that can relax your nerves. You need to keep in mind that all of this needs to be done very gently without any strain. Here is how you do it.

  • Firstly, you need to bend your elbows so that your fist faces you.
  • Then, bend your wrists and then gently open your fingers.
  • Repeat this 5 times and you would begin to feel better.

Note: You need to do this every three times a day to get the best results.

6. Wrist Curling Exercise:

The wrist curling exercise will help your wrists relax and reduce the pain. This is a natural pain reliever and all you need to do is to follow these simple steps.

  • Firstly, you need to stand up.
  • Then grab half Kg of bean
  • Then gently lift up and down.
  • Repeat this for 10 times an take a break.

Note: Make sure that you do not strain your wrists. You need to do this at least 3 times every day.

FAQs

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be very painful for the person suffering, but you need to keep in mind that this cannot be avoided. Once you identify any of the symptoms, you need to make it a point to consult a doctor at the earliest and get your condition diagnosed. Here are some frequently asked questions that will shed some more light on this topic.

1. How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

The first thing that you need to do is to adopt a new lifestyle in order to get away with this type of syndrome. There are many factors that can cause this syndrome some of which include diabetes and arthritis. However, treating such health problems without avoiding medication can be the very first step of preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, simple exercises that have been listed above can help prevent this syndrome. Keep in mind that the exact posture needs to be followed while performing these exercises.

2. What happens if carpal tunnel syndrome is left untreated?

If this syndrome is left untreated it can lead to nerve weakness and permanent numbness in your fingers and thumb. Seeking medical treatment at the earliest can relieve the pressure from your nerves and can also eliminate the symptoms.

3. Is carpal tunnel syndrome permanent?

This condition can remain permanent on your body if it is in its severe form and this can happen if it is left untreated for long. The pain can be severe and it can be controlled only with proper medical treatment. If the symptoms are severe then the doctor may advise you to undergo surgery and the after-effects of surgery can make this condition a long lasting one. So, once you sense any of the symptoms of this syndrome, you need to consult a doctor at the earliest and not avoid it.

Conclusion:

Apart from any of the above-listed symptoms, there is one simple way to check if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. All you need to do is to stretch your arms in front of you and let your hands hang down loosely for 60 seconds. If you come across any sort of numbness or tingling in your wrists, then it is understood that you are suffering from this condition. However, you need to consult a doctor at the earliest and get it treated. If this is left untreated, it may affect you intensely in the near future. Also, you can follow the above-listed exercises and prevent yourself from this condition.

News on Carpal Tunnel:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Linked to Heart Disease

-1st March 2019

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions of people in the United States, but what is more shocking about this growing disease is that it has been linked to heart diseases.

According to Michael Lane, a 69 year old patient suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome said that he faced symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and swelling in his body over the past 18 months.

Dr Brett Sperry, a cardiologist evealuated Mr Lane and stated that amyloidosis which is a protein that can change shape in your body was found in his heart and this was left untreated. However, if Mr Lane was treated when he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, he would not have had any chance of developing this condition. Currently, Mr Lane has been put under medication on a drug called Tafamidis and it seems to be working well on him.

1.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18269111.
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