Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also referred to as simply "carpal tunnel," is a type of nerve pressure.

To understand carpal tunnel syndrome, it's essential to understand what the carpal tunnel is. The carpal tunnel goes from the wrist to the end of the hand. The median nerve controls feeling and movement in the hand. When pressure develops in the median nerve, the carpal tunnel is narrowed, causing swelling.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Wrist pain
  • A burning sensation felt in the palm of the hand and fingers
  • A tingling sensation felt in the palm of the hand and fingers
  • Numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers, particularly during the night time

Patients with severe carpal tunnel syndrome may experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • Slower nerve impulses
  • Numb fingers
  • Loss of strength and coordination, particularly with the ability to use thumbs or to pinch

If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent muscle damage and loss of function for parts of the hand.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

There are many possible carpal tunnel syndrome causes, such as:

  • Repetitive motion, such as typing or any action that requires your hands to be lower than your wrist
  • Certain medical conditions, like hypothyroidism, obesity, diabetes or arthritis
  • Pregnancy

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

The SOS wrist pain specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating patients who experience carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are a wide range of carpal tunnel treatments. Certain carpal tunnel syndrome treatments are more suitable for certain patients, depending on the severity of an individual patient's carpal tunnel.

Icing and Resting the Wrist
One type of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is to put ice on the affected wrist for 10 to 15 minutes during each hour of the day.

Resting hands and wrists as much as possible can also help to provide wrist pain relief associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

While ice and rest can help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, other treatments may be necessary for long term wrist pain relief.

Wrist Braces for Carpal Tunnel Treatment
An SOS wrist pain specialist can fit you or your loved one for wrist braces as a form of treatment for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. Wrist braces should be used for 3 to 4 weeks to achieve improvement in symptoms.

Changing Routine Behavior
Using a different approach to activities that aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome can provide patients with needed wrist pain relief.

Taking routine breaks for hand stretches can help with wrist pain related to carpal tunnel.

If carpal tunnel is associated with work activities, such as typing, patients may want to ask their manager if they can make changes to the workstation.

If possible, patients who experience wrist pain from carpal tunnel may also try to alternate between hands when working on certain tasks.

Good posture, with patients avoiding rolling their shoulders forward, can also help to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

Steroids for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Some patients may benefit from certain steroids as a form of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Steroids can reduce swelling and wrist pain.

Physical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Treatment
The SOS team of physical therapists can work with you or your loved one to provide expert, personalized care for carpal tunnel syndrome. This includes an SOS physical therapist developing an exercise plan to relieve stress on a patient's hands and wrists.

Additionally, an SOS physical therapist may recommend yoga for carpal tunnel syndrome symptom relief.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery
If carpal tunnel syndrome and associated symptoms, such as wrist pain, persists after other forms of treatment, carpal tunnel surgery may be necessary to achieve desired symptom relief.

SOS prioritizes conservative treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome patients. When carpal tunnel syndrome is severe enough to the point that surgery is the best treatment option, patients can be confident in the total orthopedic care provided by SOS wrist surgeons.

SOS wrist surgeons are experienced in carpal tunnel surgery.

For Wrist Pain Relief Related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Request an Appointment with SOS

The wrist pain specialists at SOS can diagnose, care for and treat patients who experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Whether you know you or your loved one's wrist pain is being caused by carpal tunnel, or you or your loved one's wrist pain is associated with other carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and are looking for diagnosis and treatment, an SOS wrist pain specialist can provide the care you or your loved one need.

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