Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve of your hand is traumatised or compressed. This nerve is located on the palm side of your hand and is responsible for providing sensation to fingers and thumb.
The syndrome is often a result of swelling or inflammation of tendons. Due to this syndrome patients experience weakness, numbness, or other similar symptoms in their hands. If you suspect that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome consult a specialist like an Orthopedic Surgeon in Boulevard Hospital immediately.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Some possible causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Thyroid dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders
- Traumas to wrist
- Work stress
- Fluid retention (pregnancy)
- Cyst or tumour
- Swelling around tendons
- Lesions in the wrist
- Repeated use of some tools
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of this syndrome may take some time to develop. Following are some common symptoms related to this syndrome:
- Hands falling asleep, resulting in dropping objects
- Numbness and tingling in affected fingers
- Pain in the wrist
- Weakness in the muscles
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are more prominent in the morning and during the night. It mostly affects the first three fingers of the hand (related to the nerve). However, there is a very high chance that the disease can extend to the rest of them hand later.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A doctor like Orthopedic Surgeon in Doctors Hospital Lahore will ask you about your symptoms and when did you start noticing them . Then, they will proceed with some physical tests to check your ability to use your fingers and hands. Some other tests that help in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Tinel’s Sign: In this test, doctors analyse signs of numbness or tingling by taping the median nerve.
- Phalen’s test: Doctors ask the patient to bend their hands in a way that one hand’s back presses the other hand’s If any pain or numbness arises within a few minutes, it is often considered as a sign of nerve damage or compression.
- Nerve Conduction Study: Small electric shocks are applied to hands to check the transmission of impulses to muscles.
- Electromyography: A needle is inserted and then electric activity is monitored to check for any damage control.
- Blood Tests: To check for underlying causes like arthritis, rheumatoid, or diabetes are ordered.
- Imaging Scans: To check for trauma to the wrist, fractures, or other disorders.
What Are the Treatments of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The treatment plan is more focused on reducing the stress from the nerve, relieving the symptoms, and slowing the progression of the disease. Common treatment methods used to treat Carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Self-Care: You can take care of your wrist at home by giving rest to your wrist, doing cold compresses, controlling triggers. Occupational therapy and wrist splints are also recommended to some patients. By following these self care methods patients may feel improvement after a month.
- Medications: To reduce inflammation, doctors might suggest some medications or injections like corticosteroids. They may also suggest NSAIDs to reduce pain.
- Surgery: In situations where other treatments like exercises and medications do not help, doctors suggest surgery. Surgery is the best way to treat Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a nerve disease that can affect the daily routine of the patient. They may experience difficulty in doing simple activities like holding any object for a long time or opening a bottle cap. Thus, it is advisable to visit a doctor immediately to stop the disease from progressing.