Regain Movement with Carpal Tunnel Treatments
Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome can be frustrating and painful. Finding carpal tunnel relief is sometimes challenging as well, and identifying the right carpal tunnel exercises is essential to pain management. This condition is also often inconvenient, as it can prevent you from completing work and enjoying the activities you love.
You may not know what brought your carpal tunnel on, but it’s likely that repetitive motion such as typing or other wrist movements is the culprit. Sometimes other medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and obesity lead to carpal tunnel. Pregnancy can even cause this painful and frustrating condition.
Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel than men, possibly because women’s carpal tunnels are smaller. Typically, your dominant hand may experience carpal tunnel symptoms first. You may be wondering what you can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if you have a job that requires frequent typing or repetitive hand motions like sewing, finishing, cleaning, or assembly line work.
Fortunately, many employers take steps to help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by creating ergonomic workspaces, encouraging breaks, and rotating tasks amongst employees. These changes can help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are looking for information about carpal tunnel syndrome or other medical conditions, Miologi is here to provide you with accurate and up-to-date content about diseases and their treatment. We are a collective of knowledgeable professionals who strive to provide the public with relevant and timely information.
Carpal Tunnel Overview
Carpal tunnel is a condition that develops when the median nerve experiences squeezing or pressure at the wrist. The median nerve runs from your forearm into the palm. Housing the median nerve is what is called the carpal tunnel.
This narrow passageway is comprised of bone and ligaments and also houses the tendons that are responsible for bending the fingers. When tendons experience irritation or swelling, the already narrow tunnel compresses the median nerve, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Symptoms may appear slowly, and be worse while sleeping. While there may not be any visible swelling, many people who suffer from this condition express that their fingers feel swollen and even useless. Symptoms can include:
- Burning, tingling, itching of the palm and fingers
- Tingling throughout the day in hands
- Weak grip strength
- Numbness or tingling that can run up to your shoulder
- Slow nerve responses
If these symptoms persist, it is urgent that you seek medical advice. The longer your symptoms go untreated, the worse your condition will get, and you may even suffer from permanent muscle damage.
Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis
Early diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is critical to avoid permanent damage. Your healthcare provider will usually start by assessing your medical history and performing a physical. Your doctor will examine your hands, neck, and shoulders to help determine the source of your pain as well as the extent. Evaluating these areas will also help rule out other conditions and identify carpal tunnel syndrome.
After examining your wrist for any swelling and tenderness, your doctor may use further testing such as X-rays, the Tinel test, and ultrasounds to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Treatments
Treating carpal tunnel syndrome right away is essential to finding carpal tunnel relief and avoiding permanent damage. If you are suffering from any underlying condition that may be causing carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor will want to treat that first. Treatments can vary depending on the extent of your condition and level of pain.
Over-the-counter medications can sometimes alleviate pain from carpal tunnel syndrome. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may reduce pain but do not treat the actual condition.
Prescription medications like corticosteroid injections relieve pressure on the median nerve and can provide relief. This treatment is best for people with mild and intermittent symptoms.
Physical therapy and carpal tunnel exercises can help alleviate symptoms and regain strength. Yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic work can also provide relief.
When other treatments are ineffective, and your symptoms persist, surgery may be an option. Open release surgery is one type of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery and endoscopic surgery is the other.
Traditionally, open release surgery is used to correct this condition. Incisions into the affected wrist allow for a surgeon to work with the carpal ligament. The goal is to expand the carpal tunnel by cutting it. Endoscopic surgery often leads to faster recovery. Surgeons use a camera to view the nerves, ligaments, and tendons and then make a cut in the carpal ligament.
Surgery recovery can take months as the ligaments grow back together. The result from surgery is a carpal tunnel with more space in it, thus alleviating any pressure. You may experience a decrease in grip strength, but as you heal, you will regain function.
Carpal tunnel can be a debilitating condition, especially if it prevents you from doing your job. Whether you’re a hairstylist, musician, seamstress, or baker, you may find yourself struggling with this frustrating and inconvenient condition. While you can make changes to your workstation or the movements of your job, seeking medical attention right away when you experience symptoms is imperative to addressing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Medications and physical therapies may help to alleviate your symptoms and treat your pain. When these options are ineffective, surgery may correct your condition and solve your problem. Your doctor will help you determine the best course of treatment and pain management.
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