Understanding CTS

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What Are The Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Your wrist is made up of eight bones that come together to form a U-shaped channel that protects your median nerve as well as a number of tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to this channel. Your first three and a half fingers' palm side feeling and sensation are both controlled by your median nerve.

Compression or irritation of this nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel is responsible for the creation of a condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is currently the most common nerve entrapment, affecting 3-5% of the general population. Females are affected roughly two or three times more often than males. Carpal tunnel syndrome most often is found in adults age 45-60. 

Risk Factors Of CTS

Long-term wrist flexion and/or repetitive wrist movements, such as those required for carpentry, assembly line labour, supermarket scanning, and keyboard use, can result in CTS. It is also known that exposure to vibration or cold aggravates or worsens the illness.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in your dominant hand but can also frequently affect both hands. Some risk factors for developing CTS include diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, kidney disease, being short or overweight. Fluid retention during pregnancy is also common cause of carpal tunnel symptoms. 

What Are The Symptoms Of CTS?

Symptoms of CTS include numbness, tingling or discomfort on the palm side of your thumb, index, middle finger and half of your ring finger.

Sometimes the stiffness and anguish you experience might spread to your elbow. Your symptoms typically begin as overnight discomfort or numb hands when you wake up, but they can quickly turn into a constant irritation.

Your symptoms are likely aggravated by gripping activities such as holding a book while reading, driving or painting. Early on, your symptoms may be reduced by simply "shaking your hands out". You may sometimes feel as though your hands are tight or swollen. In more severe cases, hand weakness can form.

How To Treat CTS

Compression of the median nerve that is found in the carpal tunnel is often accompanied by compression at a second or third site as well. Researchers call this "double crush syndrome." Common "double crush" partners for CTS also involve the spine or muscles in and around your neck, shoulder and forearm.  

You should try to stay away from pushups and other activities that require repetitive wrist flexion in order to assist your condition get better. Grasping the handlebars of your bicycle will probably make your situation worse. To aid with your overnight discomfort, we might prescribe a specialized splint that holds your wrist in a neutral or slightly extended posture.

Recovering From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome might result in irreversible nerve damage to your forearm if it is not treated.

The American Academy of Neurology recommends conservative treatment, like the type provided in our office, before going down the surgical route.

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