Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed as it passes through the narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid tunnel located on the palm side of the wrist, and it is formed by the carpal bones and a strong band of connective tissue known as the transverse carpal ligament.

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel can lead to various symptoms, including pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers. These symptoms typically affect the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. The little finger is usually not affected as it is controlled by a different nerve.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

The exact cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not always clear, but it is often related to a combination of factors that put pressure on the median nerve. Some common causes and risk factors include:

  • Repetitive Hand Movements: Repeating the same hand and wrist movements over time, especially in activities that involve flexing and extending the wrist, can contribute to the development of CTS.
  • Hand and Wrist Position: Prolonged use of a wrist in a flexed or extended position, such as when using a computer keyboard or operating machinery, may increase the risk.
  • Anatomic Factors: Some individuals may have a smaller carpal tunnel or other structural variations that predispose them to CTS.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and pregnancy can increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often develop gradually and may include:

  • Numbness or tingling: A sensation of numbness, tingling, or "pins and needles" in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
  • Hand and Finger Pain: Pain or discomfort in the hand and fingers, which may radiate up the arm.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the hand and a tendency to drop objects due to decreased grip strength.
  • Nighttime Symptoms: Symptoms may worsen at night, leading to sleep disturbances.
  • Sensory Changes: Reduced sensitivity to touch or temperature in the affected fingers.

Effective Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment at RelievUS:

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome typically involves a physical examination, medical history review, and specific tests such as Tinel's test and Phalen's test to assess nerve function and compression.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome aims to relieve pressure on the median nerve and reduce symptoms. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment options may include rest and activity modification, wrist bracing, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), minimially-invasive steroid injections, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery. 

Early diagnosis and proper management of carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to improved outcomes and reduced long-term complications. If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome or are experiencing symptoms related to this condition, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

At RelievUS Pain Management, we offer a comprehensive and personalized approach to managing carpal tunnel syndrome. Our team of pain management specialists will work closely with you to understand the specific cause of your CTS and create a tailored treatment plan to address your unique needs.

Don't let carpal tunnel syndrome keep you from living your life to the fullest. Schedule a consultation with our expert team at RelievUS Pain Management and take the first step towards finding relief. We are committed to helping you regain hand comfort, mobility, and overall well-being. Contact us today to book your appointment and start your journey towards a pain-free life.

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