Common Injuries: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that presents itself as a result of pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is the nerve in the wrist that allows movement and feeling in parts of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause weakness, muscle damage, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The spot in your wrist where the median nerve enters your hand is known as the carpal tunnel. Since the tunnel is already narrow, any swelling can pinch the nerve, causing weakness, tingling, and numbness, and that is what is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Unfortunately, some people are simply born with a smaller carpal tunnel, meaning that they are more likely to develop this condition. However, carpal tunnel syndrome can also be the result of consistently repeated hand and wrist movements or even using hand tools that vibrate. Many people believe that typing, using a mouse, playing a musical instrument, or playing sports can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, and while they certainly won’t help, this hasn’t been proven to be definite.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Aside from the numbness, tingling, and weakness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, there are a few other signs that you might have the condition, including:
- Pain extending to the elbow
- Clumsiness of the hand when gripping objects
- Problems with finger movements
- Pain in the wrists or hands
- Degeneration of the muscle under the thumb
If you believe that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, our doctors can perform tests, including electromyography and x-rays of the wrists to properly diagnose the condition.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Trinity Orthopedics believes in a more conservative approach when it comes to treating joints and muscles. Treatment for early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome include wearing a splint at night, not sleeping on your wrists, and using a warm and cold compress.
In more advanced cases, you may want to consider changing parts of your routine. For work, there are special devices that you can use to make your routine less damaging. In sports, a physical therapist can show you strengthening exercises as well as what you need to avoid. More severe cases may require a special surgery known as a carpal tunnel release. If you are concerned that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, the Fort Worth doctors at Trinity Orthopedics can give you a thorough evaluation and help you decide the treatment that is best for you.