Do you currently have a tingling feeling or numbness in your arm? Has the condition persisted for a while? If so, it’s time for you to learn about carpal tunnel syndrome.
CTS starts by affecting one or both of your hands slowly. The condition begins when a nerve in your wrist gets pinched. Although the condition is common in pregnant, obese, and those with arthritis, it is also associated with repetitive motions.
It is important to note that it is not only carpal tunnel syndrome that can cause hand pain, numbness, or tingling. So, if your condition is not responding to medicine, it is vital to get a specialist evaluation. This guide will define CTS, the common symptoms, the likely causes, and treatments.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
CTS was first diagnosed in the mid-1800s. This condition affects your hands around the wrist. People who suffer from this condition feel pain, weakness, and numbness in their wrists.
The pain is a result of increased pressure that compresses the median nerve. As a result, when suffering from this condition, your nerve sends a sensation to your thumb, middle fingers, and index.
What are the common symptoms?
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome begins gradually without a specific injury. For instance, many patients will experience these symptoms on and off at first. Nonetheless, they slowly worsen and persist for longer after a while. The following are some of the common symptoms that are diagnosed in CTS patients.
- Shock: When ailing CTS, it is common for you to experience a sensation that radiates to the thumb, ring fingers, and index middle.
- Pain, tingling that travels up the forearm towards the shoulder.
- Numbness: mainly in the thumb, ring, middle, and index fingers
- Weakness: When suffering from this condition, it becomes difficult to perform simple tasks like buttoning your clothes or lifting a small load because of weak muscles.
The likely causes of carpal tunnel syndrome
Although there are no specific causes of CTS, some known contributing factors that trigger this condition includes;
- Suffering from joint or bone diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- A drastic change in your blood sugar level – this is common in people with type 2-diabetes
- Family history
- Metabolic changes like thyroid imbalance, menopause, and pregnancy
- A frequent and repetitive task that uses your hands, such as typing on a keyboard
- Doing a repetitive job entailing grasping moving objects with hands or playing certain sports.
Before the health care provider starts administering the treatment, they will consider your age, overall health, and medical history. Further, they will consider how bad your wrist is and how bad the disease has grown.
Also, doctors will evaluate your opinion on how you will tolerate specific medications, therapies, and procedures. The following are some of the methods used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are several methods you can use to ease the symptoms of this condition. First, you might want to put some ice for 15 minutes once or twice hourly. Also, you can gently shake your wrist just in case you wake up and find you are in pain.
If you have a mild case of CTS, your doctor can suggest you wear a brace when you go to bed. And in case your daily activity triggers a flare-up, it is good to brace up your hand.
This exercise strengthens your hand muscles when you stretch. Also, they ease the stress on your hand and wrist, allowing you to tend to your favorite hobbies with ease.
If your hand is swollen, the doctor can administer corticosteroids such as cortisone. This drug is potent and lessens your swelling and pain, giving you temporary relief from pain.
Other people who are diagnosed with CTS use complementary medicine. However, it is advisable to consult the doctor before making a decision. Some of these processes include ultrasound therapy, acupuncture, and yoga.
If other treatment cannot improve your condition after six months, your doctor might opt for carpal release surgery. This surgical process can use open surgery or endoscopic surgery. Open surgery entails making 2 inches opening along your wrist, while endoscopic surgery is less invasive and involves inserting a tiny camera through a small incision.
From time immemorial, carpal tunnel syndrome has been diagnosed using its classic symptoms. These symptoms include tingling, pain, and numbness in the thumb, index, middle, and ring finders. The only finger that is not affected is the small finger. Fortunately, the condition is treatable using surgery, yoga, ultrasound therapy, steroids, and other therapies.