Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A sharp and piercing pain through your wrists upto your arm maybe an early sign of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Keyboard

I have a tunnel inside my wrist?
Our wrists are surrounded by a group of tissue fibers that connects the joints. In addition, your median nerve passes through this empty canal that receives sensations from your three fingers – the thumb, index and middle fingers. When these fibers tighten and irritate the median nerve, you may feel a slight numbness and tingling sensation, like what you feel when you have crossed your legs for a long time(legs falling asleep). This is commonly-known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Does Facebooking cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In some cases, you might have a smaller carpal canal or carpal tunnel. People who perform repetitive wrist/hand activities, like keyboard typing, playing games using a mouse for long hours, doing make ups (yes!), weight lifting and the like exerts pressure on the median nerve; in turn will make them very prone to this condition. As a matter of fact, women experience carpal tunnel syndrome three times more likely than men would. Other health conditions that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, diabetes and trauma.

Symptoms?
If you start feeling weird tingling sensations and/or numbness while asleep, you should know that it is already an obvious sign that you may have the syndrome. Again, the thumb, index and middle fingers are involved, though some people may partly feel it on the ring finger. As this is a progressive condition, without proper medical attention, it may worsen to a point where you will feel cramps and weakness on the affected hand. Serious cases may cause muscle atrophy (muscle mass decrease) on your hand.

Doctor, doctor!
Your orthopedist will tap the front part of your wrist, which will trigger the tingling feeling. Also, your doctor may ask you to simulate or demonstrate the activities that you regularly perform that may have caused this condition – like maneuvering wheels, also known as Phalen’s maneuver. Diagnosis is confirmed when your doctor performs a nerve conduction velocity test and the results are of abnormal values. This test measures the speed or rate of electrical impulses passed through your median nerve (as to what subject we are speaking). For some rare cases, x-rays, protein analysis and blood and sugar counts are performed to assess if there are other factors that resulted carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ouch!
Once diagnosed, initial treatment can be done like resting from the repetitive activity, putting a splint to immobilize the wrist with cold compress application, from time to time. Stretching exercises and modifying how you move (i.e. change your keyboard to an ergonomically designed one). Your doctor may also recommend that you take Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements to relieve the symptoms and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain.
If the pain becomes unbearable, your doctor will recommend an out-patient surgical procedure to release the tension band that squeezes the median nerve. As I am not licensed to perform the process, just ask your friendly doctor

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