Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Overuse of your hands, wrists, and fingers can lead to serious strain and damage to the nerves, ligaments, and tendons in this part of your body. Learn what carpal tunnel syndrome is and how doctors commonly treat it today.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive injury that afflicts the hands, wrists, and fingers as well as the forearm and elbow in some cases. It is most often caused by overuse and repetitive activities like typing, working with tools like screw drivers or hammers, or playing the piano. However, it can also be caused by factors like rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, and pregnancy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is highly treatable and can be remedied through a variety of invasive and non-invasive means. It is important that people recognize the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome so that they can seek immediate medical attention for this injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome presents itself through a range of symptoms that manifest primarily in the fingers, hands, wrists, forearm, or elbow. These symptoms include:
These sensations most often are experienced in the fingers and upper part of the hand but sometimes can be felt between the wrist and elbow. If you experience any of these sensations in these parts of your body, you should seek medical help so you can be promptly treated for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most treatable orthopedic conditions today. If your injury is not severe and diagnosed early, your doctor may suggest non-invasive methods of treating it like:
- Over-the-counter or prescription medication
- Physical therapy
However, if your pain is severe and you have limited motion and feeling in your hand, finger, or wrist, your doctor may perform surgery to relieve the pressure on the median nerve in your forearm. This surgical treatment is invasive but may ease or eliminate your discomfort and give you back your full range of motion.
You can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by using ergonomic office equipment and by wearing a brace as needed. You also should rest your hands and wrists often if you perform repetitive tasks at work.