Your Guide To Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted by RidingLawnMowers on April 10th, 2018

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers, hand, wrist and arm. This condition occurs due to compression of the median nerve. Typically, this condition worsens with time; therefore, it is essential that you get an early diagnosis if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. When caught early, there are several measures that you can do to help relieve the symptoms.

The carpal tunnel is approximately one inch wide and houses the median nerve, ligaments and tendons. If the carpal tunnel narrows or the median nerve, tendon or ligaments become swollen, the space can become so tight that pressure is placed on the median nerve, causing the symptoms.

What factors increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel?

This medical condition often affects those who use repetitive motions or activities for long periods of times. OSHA reports that certain task can increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These tasks include strong gripping, vibrations, awkward hand positions and repetitive movements. Some common jobs associated with this syndrome include hairdressers, sewers, cashiers, construction workers, assemblers and office workers. In addition to work injuries, other risk factors include:

• Age – As you age, the risk of developing carpel tunnel syndrome increases.

• Certain health conditions – Those suffering from thyroid imbalances, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing it.

• Genetics – Those with family members who have been diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome are at an increased risk. This may be due to familial anatomic designs. The space for the nerve to pass through, tend to be smaller in families suffering from this syndrome.

• Pregnancy – During pregnancy, swelling commonly occurs which can place pressure on the median nerve, leading to carpel tunnel syndrome.

• Gender – Women are more likely to develop it than men.

 Carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms

Carpel tunnel syndrome develops gradually and symptoms may be intermittent in the beginning. As it becomes worse, the symptoms happen more frequently or last for longer periods of time. AAOS reports that symptoms often occur during the night due to sleep positions. The following symptoms can indicate carpel tunnel syndrome

• Numbness, pain, burning or tingling of the thumb, index, middle and ring finger.

• Shock-like feelings that radiate between the thumb and fingers, excluding the pinky.

• Weakness of the hand that prevents fine movements like buttoning clothing.

• Loss of awareness which can increase the risk of dropping things.

How to reduce the symptoms and heal the condition

Carpel tunnel syndrome occurs when the carpel tunnel becomes too crowded and pressure is placed on the median nerve. There are many nonsurgical options that can relieve your pain. Visiting functional medicine physicians is your first step towards relieving your symptoms. A functional medicine doctor will take a complete medical history, perform a physical exam and do a number of medical and laboratory tests to rule out any other underlying conditions. Once the diagnosis is made, he will recommend several lifestyle changes to relieve your symptoms and heal the condition.

Bracing – Wearing a brace while you are sleeping and doing daily activities can keep the wrist straight and reduce pressure on the median nerve.

Activity changes – If your job or hobby aggravates the carpel tunnel; your activities may need to be modified to reduce the stress on the median nerve. This may include ergonomic enhancements such as wrist rests on the keyboard, split keyboards and changing wrist positions often during work.

Icing – Applying ice to the carpel tunnel a couple of time a day can help to reduce the inflammation in it and relieve the symptoms.

Yoga – Yoga can help to relieve pain and improve grip strength. In addition to this, yoga helps to reduce stress and improve the body's natural detoxification process, which can help to lower systemic inflammation.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound uses sound waves to speed up healing by increasing blood flow to the area.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture uses small needles that are strategically placed along meridians to increase endorphin production, blood flow and oxygen levels in the body to speed up healing, reduce pain and lower inflammation.

Carpel tunnel syndrome can affect your ability to grasp objects, complete fine hand movement and cause pain. This condition occurs when the carpel tunnel  space decreases and places pressure on the median nerve. Functional medicine along with activity changes, acupuncture, icing, ultrasound and yoga can reduce the symptoms and may prevent the need for surgery.

Also See: Tunnel Syndrome, Median Nerve, Carpel Tunnel, Carpal Tunnel, Tunnel, Syndrome, Symptoms
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