Dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Essays

Submitted By Samantha-Hornsby
Words: 1346
Pages: 6

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which pain is felt throughout the affected arm, wrist and hand. This pain is due to a pinch or excessive pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is located inside the carpal tunnel, along with nine tendons that are the reason fingers bend. Women are three times more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome because the carpal tunnel is smaller. Symptoms include numbness and weakness in hand and fingers. Specifically, the fingers affected are the thumb, index, middle, and the portion of the ring finger most distal to the body when in anatomical position. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be linked with neck, shoulder, and arm pain. The tingling and numbness can occur from many basic activities. Holding the steering wheel while driving is one example of when tingling or numbness may occur. Holding a phone can activate this symptom, as well, whether it due to making a phone call or the grip and constant movements of texting. Simply reading a newspaper, book, or magazine will trigger these symptoms. People with carpal tunnel syndrome can feel these even just upon waking. Progression of this syndrome can cause the numbness to become constant. Pain is not limited to just the hand and wrist with carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be felt from the wrist, up the arm and to the shoulder or down into the palm and fingers. The pain can also extend to the elbow, but not in the way that “tennis elbow” would. Weakness in hands can occur due to carpal tunnel syndrome. With the weakness comes the tendency to drops items. Another major symptom is a loss of fine finger movements and coordination in the affected hand. Other issues or diagnosis’s symptoms can be mixed up or confused with those pertaining to carpal tunnel syndrome. There are key symptoms that may help differentiate. Issues with the brachioradialis and the radial wrist extensors are often examples, most pain with these is in the webbed space between the thumb and index finger, the thenar eminence (Travell & Simons, 688, 691). “Tennis elbow,” or lateral epicondylitis, originates in supinator, the extensor digitorum muscles, and/or the extensor carpi radialis longus (Cyriax, 315, 316). Radioculopathy can be differentiated because most of the pain is down the hand, forearm, and fingers dorsally and stops short of the ends of the fingers (Travell & Simons, 713). Thoracic outlet syndrome’s difference is that the main area of pain and origin is the thoracic vertebrae (Travell & Simons, 519). Osteoarthritis differs by pertaining to the cervical vertebrae with limited neck motion (Travell & Simons, 458). Another mistaken diagnosis is ulnar neuropathy, in which the radial nerve is irritated rather than the median nerve (Masear, 720-724). All of these in some way have symptoms that relate enough to be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of compression of the median nerve, which provides nerve signals to move the muscles around the base of the thumb. This compression can be caused by many things. Illnesses, such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, are causes. Pregnancy and obesity can bring it on. The use of vibrating hand tools, such as electric drills, sanders, etc. can induce carpal tunnel. Wrist injuries or bone spurs can be causes. Even smoking and alcoholism can cause CTS because it reduces the blood flow to the median nerve. The most common benefactor and cause is making repetitive wrist and/or hand movements, like those that could be made from playing sports or musical instruments. Treating carpal tunnel syndrome depends on how far it has progressed and how bad is at the time of treatments. If it has not gotten too bad, yet, there are a lot of simple things and home remedies people can do to prevent it from worsening. The person should either stop doing activities that cause the symptoms or take breaks to let the wrist rest, also let wrist