What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the median nerve compression travelling through the carpal tunnel. Pain and paresthesias develop in the areas innervated by the median nerve. In our body there are so-called bottlenecks, through which tendons, blood vessels, and nerves pass. Sometimes it happens that these bottlenecks become even narrower and those important anatomical structures that transfer through them begin to pinch and squeeze.
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment includes correction of adverse postures, analgesia, immobilization, sometimes glucocorticoid injections or surgery. Not always everything ends with an operation, there are special exercises which contribute to improving the tendons. Besides, there is a variant of a temporary blockage using powerful drugs or a splint as another solution.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes
A lot of doctors say that, it’s difficult to name an actual explanation for this disorder. In fact, it occurs because of median nerve tension. Although, there are several theories, including:
- Women at the age of 30-50. According to gynecologists, the syndrome can be developed due to the changes in the metabolism.
- Any kind of systemic inflammation.
- Hemodialysis. If the patient spends 10 years on hemodialysis, they are likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Various types of diabetes and specific medications for treating this illness.
- Job requiring multiple flexion and intense movements in the carpus.
Some patients experience unpleasant feelings in their fingers, at the same time others wake up at night, shake their hands for some time and sleep on. Nevertheless, it’s not cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or stroke, which can shorten life or end up with disability. The illness doesn’t develop rapidly and enables people to find the most suitable therapy for themselves depending on carpal tunnel syndrome signs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
As a rule, the signs turn noticeable gradually. Among them:
- Pain in the arm and corpus, described as numbness, often distributed along the median nerve, though possibly affecting the entire arm.
- Atrophy of the fingers and weakness in the thumb with impaired abduction.
- Discomfort developed due to pregnancy. Moreover, carpal tunnel syndrome may manifest itself during pregnancy for the 1st time, and then return again in 10-15 years.
- The disorder may be found after having injuries of the carpus and end up after going through the course of treatment of the damage that provoked it. If there were no damage and the signs turned up on their own, then most likely the syndrome will develop slowly.
- Weakness. People can suffer from numbness in the arms and drop even lightweight things.
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment
The diagnosing process starts from the person’s carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Then the specialist conducts a study that shows the speed of impulse travelling along the nervous system (electroneuromyography ENG). It shows when the person slows down, how quickly they get to their fingertips. If the research results discover muscle conditions, the doctor may prescribe a surgical intervention, for example:
- Curing the carpal tunnel syndrome causes.
- Glucocorticoid and anesthetic.
- Rarely surgical decompression.
Treating any underlying medical disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism) can help relieve the problem.