ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment and Prevention

Updated on August 18, 2015
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Source

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Facts

Carpal tunnel is a passageway, through which major nerve system of the forearm passes into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the wrist that occurs from the compression of the median nerve at the wrist. It is caused by the continuous hard work using hand for long hours such as playing piano or guitar, computer keyboard typing, working in an assembly line or working in garment industry etc.

The carpal tunnel is composed of bone and ligament; the repeated movement thickens the lubricating membrane of the tendons and presses the nerves against the hard bone. Women are more susceptible to this disease because their carpal tunnel space is smaller than that of men. Statistics show that highest sufferers are women above 30 years of age, engaged in typing work, sewing work etc. and they are three times more likely than men to get this disorder.

Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel | Source

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Risk Factors

The people who are working in manufacturing industry, engaged in works such as sewing, cleaning etc. are the common patients of carpal tunnel syndrome. Professionals like accountants, musicians, painters, writers, assembly line workers, drivers, carpenters and computer operators have high risk of the attack of this disease.

Risk factors also include certain medical conditions that you are already suffering. The risk factor is more in patients who have arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, metabolic disorder, wrist fracture, tendon inflammation etc. Pregnant women have a chance to cause swelling in the area which may lead into carpal tunnel syndrome.

Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Source

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

The repeated work for a long duration using the hand can be said as the general cause of this disease. Carpenters, typists, people working with electric drills or vibrating instruments, tennis or squash players and users of some musical instruments are using their hands continuously for completing their job and they are likely to develop this disease. Some diseases such as arthritis, hypothyroidism, diabetes and pregnancy can also be the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome

Do have any personal experience of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your work place?

See results

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms usually take place near the palm of the hand. The thumb and the first three fingers of the hand, that is most used, will feel a burning sensation in addition to the tingling and numbness. This hand will show weakness while trying to pick up some objects. These symptoms will become more severe in early in the morning or at night. Sometime the patient may feel a sensation of swelling in the finger without any visible swelling.

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This disease can be diagnosed after evaluating the physical symptoms and their history. For advanced diagnosis, neurological examinations and diagnostic tests are used. Following tests are used for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Neurological Examination – For testing the ability of the thumb to bend toward the palm and toward the other fingers.
  • Nerve Condition Velocity (NCV) and Electromyography (EMG) – For testing the functionality of the nerve and the muscle.
  • Differential Diagnosis – For getting details about the inflammation of the nerve roots and the compression of the median nerve outside carpal tunnel.

Incision of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
Incision of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery | Source

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

In some cases, the carpal tunnel syndrome will disappear without any treatment. But in most of the cases some kind of treatment is necessary; otherwise the initial discomforts such as the numbness and tingling can be developed into severe pain in the forearm or shoulder. By adopting nonsurgical and surgical treatments, about 90% of the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can be relieved.

  • Giving rest to the wrist and avoiding further activity for some period is the first step to reduce the pain. Wearing splint as a part of the treatment is also helpful to relieve the symptoms. With the help of an occupational therapist, you can adopt improved modifications in your work site. By improving the body position and changing the position frequently, you can reduce the serious effect of the symptoms.
  • Administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSASIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce the pain and inflammation. Injection of cortisone, combined with lidocaine, will give long lasting relief from the pain.
  • Surgery (carpal tunnel release) is the next option where other options are not successful. For getting complete recovery, three to twelve months are needed after the surgery. The complications associated with the surgery are infection, stiffness, swelling, incomplete release of the ligament, pain caused by the nerve damage etc.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Home Treatment

In the beginning stage of the disease, many home remedial options are available for the cure of the disease. Following are some of the home remedial measures for carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:

  • Place ice on the affected wrist for 20 minutes to get temporarily relief.
  • Keep your arms in a raised position by using pillows, while sleeping.
  • Do stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Use a wrist splint.
  • Using other helpful devices such as braces, wrist trolley, fingerless gloves, wristrests etc. may be helpful to get relief from the symptoms.
  • Keep your hands and wrists in line with the forearms.
  • Hold your elbows close to your sides.
  • Do stretching exercises every 30 to 60 minutes.

Wrist Splint
Wrist Splint

Other Types of Treatments

  • Physical Therapy: Motion exercises, stretching and ultrasound are included in physical therapy treatment.
  • Using wrist splints continuously for a long time will have good effect.
  • Acupuncture therapy is found to be effective in some cases.
  • Yoga exercise which includes stretching exercises is effectual and it will give positive results.

Self Accupressures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Source

What Do You Know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

view quiz statistics

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention

If you have a job demanding continuous work using hands, you should be careful to take some preventive measures against the carpal tunnel syndrome attack that may happen in future. The people involved in jobs like working with vibrating instruments, driving, knitting, typing etc. are at risk of this disease. Following simple precautions can minimize the risk of affecting carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • When you lift some object, do it with both hands.
  • Take frequent breaks from the continuous activities and alternate with some other works.
  • Do the typing job with soft touch and avoid pounding keys.
  • When you are using a computer keyboard, make sure that the fingers are lower than your keyboard.
  • While driving, do not use much pressure to hold the steering.
  • If you feel pain in your wrist while working or playing, stop the work and give some rest to the wrist.
  • Maintain a proper body posture, while doing a work which requires repetitive wrist movements.
  • Do normal exercises for physical fitness, maintain healthy body weight, control or reduce other adverse health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis etc.
  • Avoid smoking because this habit can cause constriction of the small blood vessels of the hand which can lead to more aggressive condition.

Research on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institute of Health is a leading supporter of the research activities related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers are studying the possibilities to find the ways to limit or prevent this disease in the work place. Scientists are also investigating the effects of acupuncture on pain and the changes in the brain that is associated with the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tom Marshal profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Marshal 

      4 years ago from India

      It is very nice to know that you have found my article useful for those who are suffering from this disease.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      I've heard of many people suffering from this condition. It seems to be quite common today. Lots of great advice here for everyone. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)