Among the most common types of hand conditions, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disorder in which the median nerve, which passes through the wrist, is put under pressure. This nerve is in charge of producing the sensory and motor functions of all fingers apart from the little finger.
The median nerve passes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel with the transverse carpal ligament on top. If the nerve is irritated or compressed, it causes a feeling of pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand, wrist, and forearm.
The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome appear slowly over time, mostly without any former injury.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms may be inconsistent in the beginning, but over a period of time may be more frequent or persist for longer. Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may include the following:
Most often, symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are more intense at night. Often at times during sleep, our wrists stay fixed in unnatural positions, which may compress the median nerve for a prolonged period of time, causing the symptoms to intensify. As the condition worsens, symptoms become more constant and frequent, with the muscles at the base of the thumb experiencing atrophy.
The Carpal Tunnel is an opening in the wrist which leads to the hand and has the median nerve running through it.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the median nerve is squeezed as this nerve provides sensory signals and motor functions to the palm side of all fingers except the little finger.
Compression of the median nerve can be caused by numerous factors, which may not directly cause the condition but rather increase the risk of it. The following may be contributing factors.
Despite scientific and medical advancements, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be difficult to prevent in the long run. Among the most common hand conditions, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is known to worsen if not treated. Though there are no proven strategies to help prevent symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, here are a few do’s and don'ts to follow to help with prevention.
The diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires a physical examination by a medical professional. The history and pattern of your symptoms are examined before conducting a physical examination. At times, an x-ray may be recommended for the affected hand to accurately center on the diagnosis.
An ultrasound of the affected wrist may also be recommended to determine the severity of the compression of the median nerve.
Your doctor may also recommend electromyography, or a nerve conduction study, to measure electric signals produced in the muscles and identify the damage.
Complications in regards to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may appear due to the condition, as well as due to surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by itself has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the median nerve, causing permanent disability and impairment, along with chronic pain in the hand and wrist. CTS could also weaken and shrink the muscles at the thumb’s base.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery also causes complications such as hypertrophic scars, wrist joint stiffness, or even gives rise to a benign tumor in branches of the median nerve.
However, complications can be easily avoided by taking the guided help of experienced medical professionals, and at Pristyn Care, we help you connect with medical experts and reduce the risk of complications.
A common hand condition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be treated at home without any surgery. However, the severity of the condition may vary from moderate to severe, in which case it is best to consult a doctor for conventional treatments. Some methods of home remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome are as follows.
Foods that may be beneficial for carpal tunnel syndrome:
While certain foods may help alleviate symptoms, others may aggravate the same. A few foods to avoid when dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:
There are two approaches to treating carpal tunnel syndrome: non-surgically or surgically. Non-surgical procedures are generally used for less severe symptoms and let you carry on with your everyday routine uninterrupted. In more extreme situations, surgical procedures can be beneficial and produce excellent results.
Even if it happens gradually, carpal tunnel syndrome typically gets worse with time in those who don't receive treatment. It is crucial to have an early evaluation and diagnosis from your doctor because of this. It may be able to halt or limit the disease's course in its early stages.
A few ways of non-surgical treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:
Since non-surgical treatment may only be able to temporarily alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. The two ways to surgically treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may often be treated in its early stages or if it’s not severe. A few non-surgical treatments include:
There are two main surgical methods for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment.
Apart from medicinal and surgical treatment, certain home remedies or self-care tips are also helpful in alleviating the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Certain exercises and modifications in how you perform your daily routine may help ease and reduce symptoms.
However, untreated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is bound to progress and worsen. It is best to consult medical experts and know the risks involved.
A few simple self-help tips to ease symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are:
Surgery may be advised to stop permanent damage in circumstances when your thumb muscles are constantly fading away and numb for a long time. If non-operative therapies do not provide relief and/or testing shows severe nerve alterations, surgery may also be advised then.
A carpal tunnel release is the name of the surgical treatment used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Most surgeons carry out this procedure using any of the two surgical methods, but both aim to reduce the pressure on your median nerve by severing the ligament that forms the tunnel's roof. This widens the tunnel and reduces pressure on the median nerve, allowing for proper blood flow to the nerve and nerve function.
With any condition, the chances of a high rate of success are higher in its early stages. Surgery for Carpal tunnel Syndrome has a comparatively high success rate of over 80%. The majority of the condition’s symptoms are reduced quickly, but gradually, after the surgery.
The duration of the recovery period after surgery depends on the intensity of the condition before surgical intervention and other factors. The recovery may take anywhere from several weeks to months. However, most symptoms reduce to quite an extent after surgery. It is crucial to follow proper aftercare guidelines as well after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery.
If you undergo non-surgical treatment options, then the procedures will help bring about temporary relief from the inflammation and the pain. However, if you undergo Carpal Tunnel Release surgery, the condition will be treated effectively, though it might recur. Still, in some cases, patients have gained relief from all symptoms that still persist.
Carpal Tunnel is a common hand condition with very straightforward treatment methods. The median nerve responsible for motor and nerve function in the palm, thumb, and middle three fingers, may get compressed and cause pain, numbness, and tingling. Everyone who suffers from this is eligible for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment.
In its early stages, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome does not require surgical treatment.
After a Carpal Tunnel release, here are a few aftercare guidelines to follow.
There are relatively few side effects and non-surgical treatment is quite safe. If antibiotics are taken incorrectly, various negative effects might occur. Surgical operations may have a few side effects, such as fever, redness or bleeding from the incision, or increased pain around the incision.
Surgery will, for the vast majority of patients, reduce carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. However, recovery could be sluggish, and it might take up to a year to fully recover.
Your recovery may be slowed if you have arthritis or tendinitis, two conditions that also can lead to pain or rigidity in your hand or wrist. Recovery will also take longer in situations of chronic carpal tunnel syndrome that include substantial sensory loss and/or muscular atrophy at the base of the thumb. These patients might not be able to make a full recovery and may have to seek physiotherapy for their hand muscles.