Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment that can be done at home depending on the degree of the situation. In addition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  arises due to  compression of the median nerve, which passes through the wrist and innervates the palm of the hand, causing tingling and sensation of needles in the thumb, index or middle finger.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually gets worse over the time it starts, especially at night. A number of factors can contribute to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome . This includes the anatomy of your wrist, certain health problems, and patterns related to the use of your hands.

Made up of bones and ligaments, the Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passage located in the wrist (on the same side as the palm). This tunnel protects an important nerve to the hand and the nine tendons that bend the fingers.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  The main cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), generated by repetitive movements such as typing or playing musical instruments. There are also traumatic causes (falls and fractures), inflammatory ( rheumatoid arthritis ), hormonal, diabetes  mellitus and drug causes. Tumors are also among the possible causes of the syndrome.

Despite the clinical relationship observed in clinics, scientific evidence is conflicting and these factors have not been established as direct causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome . Several studies have evaluated whether there is an association between computer use and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome .

However, there is still no consistent evidence that excessive computer use can cause the disease – even though it can cause pain in the hands and wrists.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  The main signs and symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

  • Pain in the wrist or hand, on one or both sides;
  • Persistent pain that extends to the elbow;
  • Numbness or tingling of the thumb and the next two or three fingers, one or both hands;
  • Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands;
  • Weakness in one or both hands;
  • Weak pincer movement or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
  • Wear of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-lasting cases);
  • Numbness or tingling of the palm.

The pain is usually worse at night, and can be so intense that the person wakes up. In some cases, it may be associated with proximal irradiation, reaching the arm and shoulder. Intense wrist flexion tends to worsen symptoms of numbness and pain.

In more advanced cases, the sensation of weakness of the muscles innervated by the median nerve can be perceived in the difficulty of holding a glass, closing a lid or even tying shoes.

Other possible symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

  • Dry skin, swelling or changes in the skin color of the hand;
  • Becoming less sensitive to touch (hypoesthesia);
  • Atrophy of the muscles at the base of the thumb.

The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are often worse after using the affected hand.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  Treatment takes into account the degree of involvement of the disease. If it is mild, the placement of an orthosis to immobilize the wrist and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are indicated. If there is no improvement, cortisone is applied into the carpal canal.

  • Applying cold compresses to the wrist to reduce swelling and relieve the stinging and tingling sensation in the hands;
  • Use of a wrist strap to immobilize the wrist, especially while sleeping, reducing the discomfort caused by the syndrome;
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen to reduce wrist inflammation and relieve symptoms.
  • Monthly injection of corticosteroids into the Carpal Tunnel to reduce swelling at the site and relieve pain and discomfort during the month.

Once the possibilities for clinical treatment are exhausted, surgery is indicated.

Recommendations:  Remember that changes in thyroid hormones and diseases such as diabetes can lead to compressive neuropathies. See your doctor if you have a tingling sensation in your hands;

  • Try to avoid activities that involve wrist flexion-extension movements;
  • Sit properly and support your arms and wrists when using the computer. Do not forget that its inappropriate use is a risk factor for RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ;
  • Climacteric women are more prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome , because of the drop in estrogen production.

Caution:  There are other diseases with similar symptoms and therefore performing clinical treatment without consulting the neurosurgeon can delay the correct diagnosis and harm the patient’s health.

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