What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as just "carpal tunnel," is a form of nerve pressure.
Understanding carpal tunnel syndrome starts with knowing what carpal tunnel is. Carpal tunnel is a part of the body that extends from the wrist to the end of the hand. Hand feeling and movement is controlled by the median nerve. The carpal tunnel becomes narrow and swells when pressure develops in the the median nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Hand pain
- A burning feeling in the fingers and palm
- A tingling feeling in the fingers and palm
- Numb fingers and palms, especially at night
Additional symptoms may occur with severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, which may include:
- Slower nerve impulses
- Numbness in the fingers
- Reduced coordination and strength, especially felt in the thumbs or a reduced ability to pinch
Permanent muscle damage and loss of some hand functions can occur with carpal tunnel syndrome if left untreated.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused by many different things. This can include, but is not necessarily limited to:
- Repetitive activity, like typing or other actions that are done when your hands are positioned lower than your wrist
- Certain medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or arthritis
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The SOS hand pain specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating carpal tunnel syndrome patients.
There are many ways to treat carpal tunnel. Certain carpal tunnel syndrome treatments are more appropriate match for certain patients, depending on the symptoms and severity of each patient.
Resting and Icing The Wrist
One way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is to apply ice to the affected wrist for 10 to 15 minutes on an hourly basis every day.
Resting wrists and hands as much as possible may also assist in hand pain relief.
While rest and ice can help with symptom relief for carpal tunnel syndrome, other treatments may be needed for long term hand pain relief.
Adjusting Routine Behavior
Doing things differently when engaging in activities that make carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms worse can provide hand pain relief.
Having regular breaks for hand stretches can help relieve carpal tunnel related hand pain.
If a patients' carpal tunnel is associated with the tasks they perform at their job, like typing, patients may want to request permission to make changes to their workstation from their manager.
If possible, patients with hand pain caused by carpal tunnel may also try alternating between hands when working on certain tasks.
Good posture that includes avoiding rolling the shoulders forward may also assist in carpal tunnel syndrome symptom relief.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment Options Can Include Steroids
Certain steroids may be a treatment option for some patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Steroids can be used to alleviate hand pain and reduce swelling.
Physical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Treatment
The SOS team includes physical therapists who specialize in hand therapy. Our hand therapists are experienced in providing individualized care for carpal tunnel syndrome. An SOS therapist can create an exercise plan to reduce stress affecting the wrists and hands.
In addition, an SOS physical therapist may recommend yoga to provide symptom relief for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
If hand pain and other carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms is still an issue after other froms of treatment have been used, carpal tunnel surgery may be needed for appropriate symptom relief.
SOS uses conservative treatments first for carpal tunnel syndrome. If carpal tunnel surgery is the best treatment option, patients can be confident in the total orthopedic care from SOS hand surgeons.
SOS hand surgeons are experienced in carpal tunnel surgery.
For Hand Pain Relief Related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Request an Appointment with SOS
SOS hand pain specialists can diagnose, care for and treat patients with carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
Whether you know carpal tunnel is the cause of you or your loved one's hand pain, or you or your loved one's hand pain is accompanied by other carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, an SOS hand pain specialist can provide needed diagnosis and treatment.