The human hand has multiple bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles which in unison help us to grip things and manipulate other objects to do our work. Within the wrist lies a narrow passageway on the palm side which houses the main nerve for movement of the nine tendons. These tendons help us to move our fingers individually and grip things or accomplish any task we want with our hands.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where this nerve gets pinched due to variety of factors and may have adverse affects. Some of the symptoms include tingling, numbness and pain with movements of the arm.
Causes of Carpal tunnel syndrome
The nerve within the wrist which is known as the median nerve can be pinched due to a variety of factors:
1. Movements, where the wrists are always higher and in an angle - Repetitive movements of the wrists where the hands are always at a lower angle, can increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually a workplace related problem and thus be caused by bad hand posture.
3. Pregnancy - Pregnancy has also known to cause carpal tunnel disorder as it can alter the balance of fluids within your body. However, other factors could also put your fluids in imbalance and cause problems with the median nerve.
4. Conditions that my cause inflammation - Certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause the inflammation within the joints which might lead to the median nerve being pinched which in turn might lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some preventive measures from carpal tunnel syndrome
1. Breaks from repetitive work - It is important for your wrists to have a break when you are doing repetitive tasks that might cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Relax and stretch your muscles within the break time
2. Wear wrist splints - These are support devices which can help correct problems for repetitive actions throughout the day while you are sleeping.
3. Take pain reliever if you start having chronic pains - If your wrist pain is not letting you functions normally, take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or aspirin and go to a doctor as soon as possible for a more thorough treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful one that is born from a strain on the median nerve, which loops through the wrist bone to connect it with the rest of the hand and fingers so as to promote motion. This condition can be a painful and debilitating one that usually starts at night, and affects the various fingers, especially the thumb and index finger. The symptoms include numbness, a tingling sensation, a weak grip, and the inability to do many tasks that involve the thumb and index finger. There are many ways of treating this condition with the help of physiotherapy, steroids and corticosteroids. There are easier ways of dealing with this issue on an everyday basis, as follows.
* Wrist Splint: It is a good idea to wear a wrist splint at night which will keep the bones and muscles stationery as the pain in this condition usually starts at night. This will also prevent further damage to the median nerve.
* Activity: Keep your activity to a minimum to give your hand and rest, in particular, some much-needed rest from the pain, numbness and tingling. Further, you need to avoid activities that cause too much pain and numbness. Also, take care to keep your thumb and wrist straight during other activities so that there is less strain on the median nerve.
* Strength and Flexibility: Many times, the pain from the wrist and fingers can spread towards the arm as well. In order to prevent this and to treat the pain on a more long term basis, it is important to turn to some mild exercise which can make the area more flexible and strong. This can include wrist twists which can be done ten times for each hand. One can also try Yoga to strengthen the joints in the upper body.
* Ice Pack: Use an ice pack or ice compress on your wrist for ten to fifteen minutes each every few hours to help in relieving unbearable pain.
* Anti Inflammation Medication: Patients suffering from this condition can also turn to non-steroid medication that will help in bringing down the inflammation. This inflammation is usually responsible to a great extent for symptoms like numbness and pain which can halt various activities. These drugs may include aspirin, ibuprofen, and even naproxen sodium.
* Taking Breaks: One must take regular breaks at work and flex the fingers and the wrist so that the painful bending posture does not make matters worse.
Ensuring that you manage your everyday functioning despite Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a matter of balancing your activities with rest.