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Definition of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
There are several common causes of hand tingling. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to be one of the most common causes of hand tingling. One of the nerves that supply the hand is called the Median nerve. This nerve travels across the wrist to supply the fingers. With repetitive bending and straightening of the wrist this nerve gets injured. This tends to occur in people that use the computer frequently, use the cash register, or are involved in activities that involve repetitive motion at the wrist.
Another nerve that supplies the hand is called the Ulnar nerve. This nerve passes behind the elbow and could get injured at that point. One of the common causes of injury is from leaning on the elbow which causes pressure on the nerve. Other common causes include pressure from surrounding tissue, arthritis, and injury to the elbow.
Since the nerves that supply the hands originate in the spine, injury to the nerves at this level could cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands. Generally patients often have shooting pain down the arm with this kind of a problem. There could be multiple causes like disk disease, tumors, and arthritis.
Systemic disease like diabetes, kidney failure, infections, and others could cause injury to the nerves so that patients could develop weakness and numbness in their hands. These patients often also have numbness and tingling in their feet first. These patients most often have Neuropathy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve which runs from the forearm into the hand becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. This results in pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
A physical examination help determine if the syndrome are related to daily activities or to an underlying disorder and can rule out other painful conditions that mimic carpal tunnel syndrome.
Electromyography is often used to confirm the diagnosis. This involves a fine needle being inserted into a muscle where electrical activities are viewed on a screen determining the severity of damage to the median nerve. Ultrasound imaging can also show impaired movement of the median nerve.
What are the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture. It can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy and obesity.
What are the treatments of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible under a doctor’s direction. Initial treatment generally involves resting the affected hand and wrist for at least 2 weeks, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending. If there is inflammation, applying cool packs can help reduce swelling. In early stage of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Injection will be one of the effective way in treating this condition. Surgery is recommended if symptoms last for more than 9-12 months. Surgery involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.
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