Carpal Tunnel Symptoms in The Wrist

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms in Wrist

 

What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is a channel on the palm side of the wrist. The bones of the wrist are arranged in a semi-circle, and a tough ligament (the carpal ligament) forms a roof over them, creating a passageway called the carpal tunnel.

Running through the carpal tunnel are the tendons that we use to bend the fingers and wrist and the median nerve. This is one of two nerves that allow feeling in the hand. The median nerve also controls some of the muscles that move the thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tendons and nerves running through the carpal tunnel are under too much pressure.

 

What Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Feel Like?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that occurs when there is too much pressure placed on the nerves and ligaments in the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome will occur in about 1 in every 100 people at some strange in their lifetime but is most popular in women between the ages of 30 and 50.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by repetitive strain on the wrist. This is usually due to the person’s occupation, hobby or sport. Occupation is by far the most common.

Most, if not all, of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, can be prevented by stopping or reducing the activity that is causing the condition. Common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are typing, knitting, using a jackhammer, playing tennis and other work related activities that involve heavy wrist strain or awkward wrist movements.

 

Carpal Tunnel Exercises

Carpal tunnel exercises, exercises you can do to help prevent, and ease the pain of, carpal tunnel syndrome. Below are 6 carpal tunnel exercises that you should at the start and end of your work shifts, as well as after any breaks you have throughout the day. These carpal tunnel exercises are simple and only take a few minutes.
Stand straight up and extend both arms straight out in front of you. Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were in a handstand position. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
Now straighten your wrists and relax your fingers.
Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.
Keeping your fists clenched, bend your wrists down. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again.
Repeat steps A-E 10 times, then stand up with your arms relaxed at your sides.

These carpal tunnel exercises are simple and don’t take very long. We recommend you do these exercises anyway, every if you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. These carpal tunnel exercises will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can be felt in the hand, wrist and even up as high as the shoulder. The severity of symptoms depends on the condition of the person. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may be only mild and felt occasionally, but in more serious cases symptoms may become constant.

In extreme cases of carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers, hand muscles may become permanently weakened and loss of feeling across the hand may occur.

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include the following:

  1. Tingling or pins and needles in the hands or fingers
  2. Loss of grip strength
  3. Burning sensation in the hands or wrists
  4. Difficulty moving wrist and fingers
  5. Difficulty performing small finger movement, like writing
  6. In severe cases, tingling, pins and needles and weakness in the arm and shoulder

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are often worse for the sufferer at night or first thing in the morning. This is because most people sleep with their wrists bent.

If you think you may be feeling the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms you should cease the hand activities that are causing it and do some relief exercises and seek out treatment.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

There are several options for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The options range from self-help to medicines and surgery. Let’s take a look each carpal tunnel syndrome treatment option individually.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment options:

1 – Self-help

There are several ways the people find relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some people will hang their hand out of the bed at night or shake the hand for temporary relief. Mild symptoms may also be relieved by using an ice pack. You should always wrap the ice pack in a towel, the ice should never touch the skin.

Another effective Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment method is by using stretching exercises regularly. These exercises will help ease the symptoms and prevent any further development.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling, and so relieve pain. These should only be used for pain relief, not to treat the symptoms of carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

2 – Medicines

The following medicines are considered Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment and may help with pain relief and treat the problem. These include:

  1. Corticosteroid tablets (eg prednisolone)
  2. Prescription-only NSAIDs
  3. Steroid injections
  4. Diuretic drugs (only is excessive swelling is present)

All these medicines must be prescribed by a doctor. Alternative forms of medicine like acupuncture may also help to relieve symptoms.

3 – Surgery

This is the last form of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment and is only performed in the worst cases where the symptoms continue to get worse when other treatment methods are used.

The surgery involves cutting open the Carpal Tunnel to make more room for the nerves. The operation does not take long and the person does not have to stay in the hospital overnight.

Modern operations are performed using an endoscope. This is a small telescope that allows the operating doctor to see inside the wrist. A small cut is made in the wrist and the endoscope is inserted. Using this method patients will only be left with a small scar and will be able to return to daily activities quickly.

How to choose a treatment

In most cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will get better without the need for surgery or treatment. If you start to feel the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on a regular basis you should begin with self-treatment. If self-treatment does not help, consult your local doctor.

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms in The Wrist, Last Update: 7/5/2017

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