Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It is caused by compression of the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically develop gradually and can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive motions, injury, arthritis, and pregnancy. Common symptoms include:
Tingling or numbness in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. This is caused by compression of the median nerve.
Pain in the hand, wrist or arm. This pain is caused by the inflammation of the median nerve and tendons that pass through the carpal tunnel.
Weakness in the hand and fingers. This is caused by the compression of the median nerve, which can affect the muscles in the hand and fingers.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are often worse at night and can disrupt sleep. They may also be triggered by activities that involve repetitive motions, such as typing, using a mouse, or playing a musical instrument.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome typically begins with conservative measures, such as rest and the use of a wrist splint or brace. These measures can help to reduce the pressure on the median nerve and provide relief from symptoms.
Physical therapy may also be recommended to help improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles and tendons in the hand and wrist. This can help to reduce inflammation and improve the function of the median nerve.
If conservative measures are not effective, a corticosteroid injection may be given to reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms. Surgery may also be considered in severe cases.
Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome involves releasing the transverse carpal ligament to create more space for the median nerve. This can be done through an open incision or with a minimally invasive endoscopic technique. Surgery can provide long-term relief from symptoms, but recovery can take several weeks to several months.
In summary, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Symptoms include tingling, numbness and pain in the hand and fingers. Treatment includes rest, splinting, physical therapy and in severe cases, corticosteroid injection or surgery. It’s important to address the symptoms early to avoid progression of the condition and permanent nerve damage.