Our wrist also termed as the carpus or carpal bones is a complex joint that bridges the hand to the forearm. Since it undergoes a lot of repetitive motions every day, when it exceeds its limit, pain or injury is bound to happen. One such progressive condition called ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome‘ develops when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve, gets pinched or compressed.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common neurological disease with the prevalence of 2.7%–5.8% in the general population says in the group study from Central India. It is the median nerve that controls the movement and feeling of our thumb and other fingers, except the pinky and a slight pressure in it, can cause us this syndrome. But, then how to confirm whether it is carpal syndrome and not just a regular wrist pain?
Check out for the following carpal tunnel symptoms:
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, tend to develop gradually over time with the first symptoms often appearing during the night, or on waking up in the morning.
❖ Tingling, burning, or itching and numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and index finger.
❖ Losing grip strength and difficulty in grasping things or forming a fist
❖ Typing, opening and performing other such small actions become challenging
❖ Holding things for a prolonged period of time such as a book or a phone becomes difficult
❖ Occasional shock-like sensations that one feels like shaking it away
❖ Spreading symptoms all over to the hand and shoulder
❖ Loss of sensation in extreme cases or if left untreated
Causes of CTS:
❖ overuse of wrist in doing repetitive movements
❖ pregnancy, menopause, or overweight
❖ repeated use of vibrating hand tools
❖ work stress
❖ gout or any type of arthritis
❖ hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
❖ diabetes or any other health conditions
❖ trauma, such as dislocation or fracture of the wrist
❖ structural problems in the wrist joint
❖ a cyst or a tumour in the carpal tunnel
❖ any kind of swelling or inflammation around the tendons
Carpal tunnel treatments:
❖ As a self-care, you can start by soaking your wrist in an ice bath for 10-15 mins. For the pain that wakes you up at night, shake your wrist gently and sleep keeping it in a hanging position over the side of your bed.
❖ Get proper rest and take a break from activities that trigger the pain or worsen the symptoms
❖ Wear a wrist brace or splint to support your wrist and prevent it from bending or twisting at night.
❖ Take steroid injections if necessary to reduce the inflammation and severity of other symptoms
❖ Perform carpal tunnel exercises and wrist-strengthening yogas to reduce the pressure on the median nerve and boost your grip
❖ Try electrotherapy, It’s ultrasound device uses sound waves that causes mechanical vibrations on your hand and wrist thus stimulating the blood flow and help relieve the pain of CTS, accelerating natural and faster healing.
Few simple cares like not gripping too hard or overstressing your wrists, wearing wrist splints, keeping your keyboard at the wrist level, healthy diet, exercises etc. can prevent you from developing carpal tunnel syndrome.