Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome also known as median nerve dysfunction or median nerve entrapment is pressure on the median nerve.  The median nerve is the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to the parts of the hand.  This can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.  The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel.  This tunnel is normally narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause the above symptoms.  Carpal tunnel is commom in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist.  Typing on a keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, but others include: sewing, driving, painting, writing, use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate), sports such as racquetball or handball, and playing some musical instruments.  This condition is most common is people 30 to 60 years of age and is more common in women.  Some medical problems associated with carpal tunnel include: bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist, acromegaly, diabetes, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, kidney failure and dialysis, menopause, PMS, pregnancy, infections, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and scleroderma.  Tests used for diagnosis include: electromyography, nerve conduction velocity, and wrist x-rays.  Treatment includes: wearing a splint at night for several weeks, if that does not help, try wearing the splint during the day.  Changes should be made according what is causing your carpal tunnel.  Medications used to treat it are ibuprofen and naproxen to reduce the swelling and help the pain.  Expectations are that 50% of the time treatment help but the others require surgery.  If you are having these symptoms please see your physician.  Stay Informed!

1 comment:

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an author's worst nightmare. X