When the median nerve in the wrist and hand is pinched, a painful disease known as carpal tunnel syndrome can set in.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness and eventual weakness in the hands and fingers. Medication, surgery or behavioral modifications may all provide relief for this illness.
This article covers what causes carpal tunnel syndrome, how to recognize it, and potential solutions.
Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel
Pain in the median nerve’s sensory distribution (the hand and fingers) is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. The thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger make up the palm side of the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause these additional symptoms:
- Pain and numbness along the path of the median nerve.
- Nighttime discomfort worsening and a loss of feeling in the affected fingers
- Weakened ability to grasp and pinch objects
- Muscle atrophy around the thumb’s proximal phalanx
How Do Doctors Identify Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Exams of the hands and wrists, as well as testing of nerve function, can help identify cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Tinel’s sign and Phalen’s test are examples of tests a doctor could use during a physical examination to replicate your symptoms if they suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
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In order to determine how much damage CTS has done to the median nerve, a doctor may also order a nerve function test.
Examining the strength and velocity of electrical impulses as they travel along the median nerve is called a “nerve conduction study.” With CTS, this ferocity and velocity can be mitigated.
Electromyography (EMG) is a test that measures electrical activity in muscles by inserting very small needles into the muscles that are supplied by the median nerve. CTS may be present if abnormal electrical activity is observed by EMG.
Modifying your daily routine can alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms and even reverse the problem in certain cases. Seven of these are:
Whenever feasible, you should refrain from engaging in activities that bring on or worsen your symptoms. If you must use your hands frequently, rest them often throughout the day.
Ergonomic equipment: Reduce the strain on your hand muscles by using ergonomic tools, such as pens and pencils with wider grips.
Use a splint to maintain a straight wrist and relieve pressure on the median nerve. You should apply a splint nightly and whenever you engage in the activities that bring on your discomfort.
Adopt a healthy seated position: Make sure your desk is set up so that the median nerve is not pinched and your posture is improved while you work.
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Physiotherapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers can benefit from targeted exercises that loosen up their joints and boost nerve gliding. Muscles that control wrist and finger movement link to tendons in the carpal tunnel. Tension and soreness in these muscles can be alleviated with stretching. Stretch your muscles out at regular intervals by doing the following:
- Make ten sets of fingers-apart-and-back-together gestures.
- Ten times, with your thumb, touch the tips of your fingers.
- Raise your arm to shoulder height and keep it there. Put a slant on your wrist. Slowly lengthen your forearm by applying light pressure to the back of your hand with the other hand. Continually hold your breath for the next thirty seconds. Flip your arm over and do the same thing going the other way.
- Get started by lining up your fingers. Make a fist by bending your fingers at the knuckles. Raise your hand and straighten your fingers. Do this ten times.
- Get started by lining up your fingers. Making a tabletop with your fingers requires merely bending the large knuckles. Then, touch your thumbs to your index fingers. Raise your hand and straighten your fingers.
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