Do you have tingling, numbness, a weakened grip or pain in your hand and wrist? Chances are you could have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is never a good idea to diagnose yourself even if you relate to all of the symptoms. Seek treatment from a physician that understands the condition and can offer carpal tunnel treatment.
Carpal tunnel itself happens in the hand where the tendons, median nerve and blood vessels go through the ‘carpal tunnel’ in your wrist, and runs the entire length of your arm ending at your hand. The median nerve is what controls feeling and movement in the thumb as well as movement for all fingers with the exception of the pinky finger.
It’s All About the Median Nerve
The median nerve itself is what offers ‘sensation’ to fingers, except the pinky finger, and the palm side of your thumb. It is also responsible for nerve signals that provide motor function and move muscles around the base of the thumb. What causes the discomfort and pain is the narrowing of the carpal tunnel due to swelling. Any squeezing or irritation to the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel.
Once there is swelling within the tunnel, the nerve can feel pressure which causes the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel. In order to start feeling better you should seek treatment from a chronic pain center or physical therapy center. They can help you determine the best course of action for carpal tunnel treatment.
Physical therapy can help positively change the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome and improve symptoms. Different types of carpal tunnel treatment can include something as simple as hand and wrist splints or steroid injections. No matter they type of treatment, the goal is to help you find relief.
What Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are actually a few conditions that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome including obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis of the wrist and pregnancy. However, repetitive motions such as typing or any wrist motions done over and over, can also be the cause. This is true especially if those actions happen when your hand is lower than the wrist.
Perhaps you have suffered from wrist fractures. That can also narrow your carpal tunnel and cause swelling, irritation to the nerve and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. There are many ways carpal tunnel can happen including a combination of contributing risk factors.
Seek Carpal Tunnel Treatment Immediately
Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to only get worse without treatment. Symptoms have been known to last for a long time and even get worse, or go away only to return. Carpal tunnel treatment ensures that you are getting the care you need to treat the root of the problem, which is different for every person.
Treatments can start with wrist braces, steroids or physical therapy. Your physician will start by ruling out any other causes for your wrist and hand pain. A handful of tests may be ordered to diagnose your cause for carpal tunnel syndrome.
It all starts with a physical exam of your arms, hands, shoulders and neck while being asked questions concerning your medical history. Every finger will be tested for loss of feeling, and the strength of the muscles in your hand will also be checked. The focus is on the median nerve.
What Types of Carpal Tunnel Treatment Are Available?
There are actually a few types of treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome recommended before turning to surgery for extreme cases. A physical or occupational therapist can provide help with stretches and exercises that strengthen wrist and hand muscles. All of your options will be discussed with progress monitored for up to six months. Signs of improvement can ward off surgery. Turn to your local chronic pain center to get started.