What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
It belongs to the category of “Entrapment Neuropathies”, they can be a cause of chronic pain, causing debilitating symptoms and loss of function. CTS is the most common and most studied entrapment neuropathy, and it is the compression of the median neve as it passes through the “Carpal Tunnel,” a fibrous canal.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome may cause pain, numbness, or tingling in your wrist and hand, mostly in the middle finger, index finger, and thumb. The symptoms are usually worse at night and when you use your wrists and hands frequently. You may notice that over time your grip gets weaker, and you tend to drop heavy objects.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Anything that increases pressure on the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes pregnancy and health conditions, like arthritis and diabetes, can increase the pressure. Over time, repeated forceful hand movements can increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, such as in people who work in food processing and packaging or assembly.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
Talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms. He or she will ask you about the ways you use your hands and about specific symptoms in each part of your hand and wrist. Your doctor may also test how your nerves and muscles react to electrical stimulation.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
If you have a disease or condition that is causing carpal tunnel syndrome, treatment may improve your symptoms. Not repeating the same hand activities, doing hand and wrist exercises, and wearing a wrist splint may also help. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce wrist swelling or recommend an injection into your wrist. If these treatments do not help, surgery may be an option. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is a quick procedure and usually cures the condition. Most people can return to normal activities in two weeks.