Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is a painful condition that can make it hard to engage in your normal everyday activities. It affects between two and three percent of the population at some point in their lives. If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you do not need to suffer through it. We can help you with a treatment plan that will stop the pain and help you get back to your normal everyday activities.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the wrist and hand. The carpal tunnel is an opening where a wrist that transmits sensory information from parts of your hand passes through. When someone has carpal tunnel syndrome, they will experience painful symptoms that originate from that area and often radiate up the arm from the wrist.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are pain, weakness, tingling and weakness in the hand and wrist. Many people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome also experience pain and discomfort that radiate up the arm from the wrist.
The pain and weakness from carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult to use your hands and wrists, which can sometimes prevent sufferers from performing the functions that they need to at work.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The exact cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not known. However, researchers theorize that it may be related to irritation of the nerve that runs from the palm of your hand down to your forearm. This nerve, called the median nerve, is responsible for sending sensory signals from the palm side of your hand.
The part of the nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel can become compressed in a number of ways, which can lead to carpal tunnel pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often preceded by either acute or repetitive trauma to the hand or wrist area. Engaging in activities that involve forceful exertion on the hands and wrists is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. People who have jobs that involve constant use of the hands, such as jobs that involve large amounts of typing, are also at a higher risk.
Additionally, researchers think that some people are genetically predisposed to carpal tunnel due to having smaller channels for the nerve to pass through. Studies have also indicated that excess weight can be a risk factor for carpal tunnel, as can certain medical conditions that include:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- dysregulated pituitary gland
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated with the use of a wrist splint or brace. These provide additional support to the affected area, which can reduce inflammation and aid healing.
Taking over the counter analgesics such as NSAIDs can help relieve the pain and swelling that is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
In people who have not had success with these conservative measures, oral diuretics can sometimes help. These reduce fluid retention, which reduces pressure on the median nerve.
Corticosteroids injections have provided relief to many people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. These injections reduce pain and swelling, often for long periods of time. One in three people who have had carpal tunnel syndrome treated with corticosteroids reports relief without any further treatment.
When the treatments above are not successful, many individuals consider surgery. Surgery can be performed either through open surgery methods or through endoscopic methods. These surgeries are designed to relieve pressure on the median nerve when other treatments are not effective. Surgery is considered a last resort.
Request a Consultation
Is carpal tunnel syndrome causing pain and interfering with your life? Gulf Coast Pain Institute can help. Get in touch and make an appointment. We can discuss your symptoms and the best treatment options for you.