What Carpal Tunnel Syndrome entails

Your fingers and wrist motions are controlled by a network of nerves within your hand. Sometimes you may experience tingling, numbness, or even shooting pain all-around your fingers. This could mean that your fingers are simply asleep, but it may be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome if the symptoms persist. Many people experience this condition and may not be entirely aware of what is going on. Read on if you are experiencing Westfield carpal tunnel and would like to find out more about the condition.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the application of pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a pretty narrow passageway on the palm side of your hand surrounded by ligaments and bones. When pressure is exerted on the median nerve, it becomes compressed with symptoms that include tingling or weakness in the arm and hand.

Health problems, wrist anatomy, and repetitive hand motions contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment involves relieving numbness and tingling while restoring hand and wrist function.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms are usually gradual and include:

  • Numbness or tingling: The thumb, index, middle, or ring fingers are typically affected but not the little finger. An electric shock is felt as it travels from your wrist up to your arm. The symptoms may occur while holding something or when you wake from sleep
  • Weakness: The numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles may cause you to experience weakness in your hand and drop objects.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The condition is usually caused by pressure being felt on the median nerve that runs from your forearm through the carpal tunnel to your hand. This results in a sensation to the palm side of your thumb and fingers except for the little finger. The nerve provides nerve signals that move the muscles surrounding your thumb’s base.

Any substance or condition that irritates or squeezes the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may develop the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis causing swelling and inflammation or a wrist fracture can narrow the tunnel and irritate the nerve.

A combination of wrist factors may contribute to the development of the condition. These include;

  • Sex
  • Anatomic factors
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Obesity
  • Nerve-damaging conditions
  • Medications
  • Body fluid changes

Diagnosis and Treatment

 Diagnosis is made via a variety of tests such as:

  • Doctor reviewing a history of symptoms
  • X-ray
  • Physical  examination
  • Nerve conduction study
  • Electromyography

Treatment is best done as early as the symptoms start. Nonsurgical therapy methods include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Wrist splinting
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Surgery may be necessary for persistent, severe symptoms. The two main surgery techniques are:

  • Open surgery
  • Endoscopic surgery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a fairly typical condition affecting many people. This condition may result in a drop in productivity at workplaces due to its discomforting nature. If you are going through any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit our website or book a consultation with our offices in Westfield, NJ.