#HealthBytes: Carpal tunnel syndrome - its causes, symptoms, and preventionLast updated on Mar 01, 2021, 12:50 am
The carpal tunnel is located on the palm side of the hand and is a narrow passage surrounded by bones and ligaments.
When the median nerve passing through the palm compresses, it causes swelling inside the wrist and gives way to weakness in the hand.
There are a number of reasons that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Read on to know more.
Most common symptoms are felt around wrists and palms
All symptoms of this condition are usually felt along the wrist and palm.
The following are the most common symptoms of this syndrome:
1) Numbness, tingling, and pain in the fingers.
2) Pain or burning sensation that travels up your arm.
3) Severe wrist pain at night that can also affect sleep quality.
4) Weakness and numbing of the muscles in the hand.
Underlying conditions like diabetes, wrist fracture, increase the risk
Any activity that squeezes the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space can lead to this syndrome.
Repetitive actions like typing or similar wrist movements are the main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Certain underlying conditions like diabetes, wrist fracture or dislocation, obesity, fluid retention, menopause, thyroid dysfunction, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others, increase the risk of being affected by this median nerve compression.
For diagnosis, doctor may advise electromyography, X-ray, nerve conduction study
To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor will conduct a physical examination and run a few tests.
An X-ray of the affected wrist helps rule out other causes like arthritis or a fracture.
Also, electromyography will identify the damage to the muscles controlled by the median nerve.
Nerve conduction studies may be conducted to measure the signals in the nerves of your hand and arm.
How to take precautions to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?
There are a few precautions that you can take to ensure that you are at a lower risk. You should:
Avoid positions that overextend your wrist and keep it in a relaxed middle position.
Treat underlying conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and fluid retention.
Pay careful attention to your hand postures.
Stretch your hands regularly if they are more prone to continuous movements.