Carpal Tunnel

carpalWhat is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist.

The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first fingers (not your little finger).

What are some causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

  • Illnesses such as hypothyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Computer keyboarding
  • Pregnancy
  • Making same hand movements over and over
  • Wrist injuries and bone spurs
  • Smoking
  • Mousing

What are the symptoms?

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand. Some people may have pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.

Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.

You may first notice symptoms at night. You may be able to get relief by shaking your hand.

How is it treated?

Mild symptoms usually can be treated with home care. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of stopping symptoms and preventing long-term damage to the nerve.

You can do a few things at home to help your hand and wrist feel better.

  • Stop activities that cause numbness and pain. Rest your wrist longer between activities.
  • Ice your wrist for 10 to 15 minutes 1 or 2 times an hour.
  • Wear a wrist splint at night to keep your wrist in a neutral position.
  • See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better after 1 to 2 weeks of home care.

Our Facility Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpaltreatment

How can you keep carpal tunnel syndrome from coming back?

To keep carpal tunnel syndrome from coming back, take care of your basic health. Stay at a healthy weight. Don’t smoke. Exercise to stay strong and flexible. If you have a long-term health problem, such as arthritis or diabetes, follow your doctor’s advice for keeping your condition under control.

You can also try to take good care of your wrists and hands:

  • Try to keep your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Use your whole hand-not just your fingers-to hold objects.
  • When you type, keep your wrists straight, with your hands a little higher than your wrists.
  • Relax your shoulders when your arms are at your sides.
  • If you can, switch hands often when you repeat movements.

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