Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is condition develops in the upper limbs. The nerve present in the carpel tunnel compressed. The carpel tunnel is a narrow passage on the palm side of the wrist. The repetitive hand movement is one of the contributory factors for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Other included problems are the defective anatomy of the wrist and other health related problems. Alternatively, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is also known as median nerve compression.
The carpel tunnel syndrome is a gradually progressive condition and often untreated condition leads to worsening the condition. Therefore, early diagnosis is important to restrict the progression of carpel tunnel syndrome. Certain simple measures at the early stage of the carpel tunnel syndrome can cure the condition. If pressure on the nerve continues, then the carpel tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve damage, which is difficult to rectify by simple measure and restriction. Negligence of the carpel tunnel syndrome over a period of time turned to a serious health issue and affect the quality of life of the patient by decreasing or restricting daily activities.
In worsening condition, the permanent damage to the nerve causing the carpel tunnel syndrome needs to surgery in the wrist joint. The persistent pain and numbness of the hand can be indicative of carpel tunnel syndrome and it is always advisable that consultation with a medical doctor can diagnose the actual underlying cause of the condition.
In India, recent days the incidence of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is growing. The one of the primary reason is most of the people working on the computer for prolonged period of time. The repetitive typing or other activities in the computer can leads to increasing rate of carpel tunnel syndrome in India.
The carpel tunnel is the narrow passage for the median nerve of the forearm. The median nerve pass through carpel tunnel can provide sensation to the palm, fingers (except little finger) and thumb. The signal come from the median nerve is also important for muscle contraction and relaxation present around the wrist.
Squeezing of carpel tunnel can irritate the median nerve and leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. Direct traumatic injury or activities like throwing and catching require forceful hand movement. Any action requires vibrating movement of the hands, pressure against a hard surface and forceful movement of the hand can cause carpel tunnel syndrome.
There are certain factors responsible for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, which can indirectly aggravate median nerve damage. The included risk factors are:
- Fracture or dislocation of the wrist bone or bone degenerative condition including arthritis can narrow down the carpal tunnel and increase the pressure on the median nerve.
- Individuals having small carpel tunnel from birth can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Athletes and sportsperson also have a higher risk to develop Carpel Tunnel Syndrome due to their forceful hand movement.
- Women have higher tendency to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, due to smaller tunnel area than men. Even the area of the carpal tunnel varies with person to person.
- Certain chronic underlying disease condition like hypothyroidism, obesity, diabetes mellitus, renal disease, alcoholism, rheumatoid arthritis can damage median nerve.
- Body fluid balancing differs during pregnancy and menopause, which increases the risk of fluid retention and edema related inflammatory condition narrow the carpal tunnel and increase the risk of carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome can be a result of occupational hazards. These can include the work need repetitive and forceful hand movement like worker works in grinding industry or works as a carpenter, butchers, garment workers, packers, cashiers, elevator operators, computer operators, dentists, pneumatic tool operators and drilling machine operators.
- Certain condition like fracture of the wrist can cause narrowing of the carpel tunnel and leads to irritation of the nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes inflammation of the joint and that can also influence Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
- Obesity and increased body weight can also significantly increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
The above mentioned all the risk factors may not be caused carpal tunnel syndrome, as several studies showed that there is no uniform correlation between risk factors and the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome.
the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are related to the discomfort of the wrist and palm of the hand. The symptoms of the carpal tunnel syndrome are restricted only on the upper limb and associated with the tingling sensation of the thumb, index and middle fingers. This sensation is not a continuous, which can appear and disappear periodically.
The two characteristic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are:
Tingling or numbness
- Except for little fingers of the affected hand become numb for a certain period and then again normalize. Addition to this, carpal tunnel syndrome may also cause an electric shock like sensation in the fingers.
- The discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome can travel from wrist to forearm and then gradually spread to the whole arm. Numbness of the hand cause difficulty to hold things like newspaper, telephone receiver steering of a car.
- The nocturnal attack means during sleep hand may become numb, which disturb sleep.
- Over a constant period of time, the numbness goes on its own way.
- In carpal tunnel syndrome, the hand griping power becomes weak. Therefore tendency to drop down the things from hand is also a common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. This usually occurs due to muscles present around the median nerves become weak.
- You may experience weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.
Some of the precautionary measures can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. These are as follows:
- Caring of overall health is very important to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- The action requires to repetitive hand movement need to altering the hand action, which decreases the stress in the carpal tunnel and can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Salt intake restriction is an important precautionary measure to avert fluid retention.
- Take a break during job require to a continuous finger or wrist movements.
- Maintaining proper hand posture and avoid to excessive bending and twisting of the wrist. It is necessary to keep the wrist straight or less bending position.
- Stretching exercise is important to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
Home remedies are effective to treat mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. It has been observed that early diagnosis and appropriate home remedial application is potential to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Resting is very important to solve the carpal tunnel syndrome related irritation. Continuous working usually causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, in between the work short break and stretching exercise can assist to release pressure on the median nerves. This will help to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Ice bag compression for 10 to 15 minutes with an interval of two hours can reduce the inflammation of the wrist and can help to control the narrowing of the carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Maintain proper warmth of the wrist and palm can also help to treat the carpel tunnel syndrome. Therefore, wearing gloves is an effective measure to maintain the warmth. Lumino Cielo Arthritis Gloves available on Amazon can effective to relieve pain related to Carpel Tunnel syndrome on the finger.
- Wrist brace wearing at the night can assist to control the pressure by neutralizing the pressure on the median nerve.
- Nerve gliding exercise of the median nerve can help to free movement of the nerve in the carpel tunnel and also assist in decreasing the discomfort related to carpel tunnel syndrome.
There are several treatment approaches available for carpel tunnel syndrome. Depending on the severity of the condition treatment plan is prepared.
- Analgesic medications like non-steroidal- anti-inflammatory drugs usually used to relieve pain.
- In the case of severe pain on the wrist which cannot control by NSAIDs them, then doctor recommends steroidal injection on the wrist to control the pain of carpel tunnel syndrome. This can effective to provide temporary pain relief. But unable provide a permanent solution and recurring of pain symptom occur in the case of severe carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Surgical intervention is applicable when carpel tunnel syndrome related pain interfere the daily activities and reduce the quality of life. The aim of the carpel tunnel release surgery is to reduce the pressure generated on the median nerve by resection the adjoin ligaments. This also broadens the carpel tunnel.