Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition that is caused by median nerve entrapment at the wrist. The median nerve is a major peripheral nerve of the upper limb and one of the main nerves in the hand.

A passageway (or tunnel) on the palm side of the wrist is formed by the wrist bones and ligaments. The median nerve and tendons run through this passageway, which is known as the Carpal Tunnel. Swelling or inflammation in this area can cause pressure (entrapment) on the median nerve.

A person suffering from this type of distal median nerve dysfunction will commonly experience pain, weakness, shock-like sensations, numbness and tingling in hand and arm.

An early diagnosis and treatment of this condition is very important. If left untreated, the symptoms associated with this disorder can get worse over time. An early diagnosis and treatment may also prevent long term damage to the median nerve and reduce the need for a surgical procedure to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Proper and timely treatment of this condition usually restores function in the affected areas (wrist and hand) and reduces or relieves the aforementioned symptoms.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The exact cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is unknown. Risk factors and disorders that may increase the chance of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Family History
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Repetitive Motions
  • Wrist Injury

Most patients who develop this condition are over 40 years old. Woman are much more likely to develop this condition than men. This condition may also develop in people who have a job that involves repetitive motions involving the arm, hand, and wrist. Typing, sewing, using a spray gun, playing a musical instrument, and kneading dough are all examples of repetitive motions that can be contributing factors to the development of this syndrome.

Non-Operative Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

This condition should be diagnosed an evaluated by a hand specialist. Certain test may be performed to confirm this condition and to detect nerve damage.

Activity modification, rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, occupational therapy and a splint may be recommended to treat this disorder.

If symptom are severe and non-operative treatments do not provide relief, surgery may be recommended to reduce median nerve pressure.