There are many activities that require repetitive hand motion, such as writing or typing. Unfortunately, exposing our hands to constant stress like this can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is quite serious because it can potentially numb your fingers or hands forever. The only thing you can do is try to treat it as soon as you start seeing symptoms. This article will teach you everything you need to know about the condition, so keep reading to learn more!
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
If you experience a feeling of weakness, numbness and tingling in your hands, you need to ask your doctor to check if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is a compression of the median nerve, which is found on the palm side of the hand. It is the nerve that gives sensation to the thumb, pointer finger, index finger and part of the ring finger. This is also what supplies impulse to the thumb muscle. Carpal Tunnel may occur in one hand or both, and is often caused by swelling in the wrist.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the arm to a passage in our wrist and ends in our hand. The median nerve controls the movement of our fingers, except for the pinky. Usually, people don’t know what causes their carpal tunnel syndrome. However, common causes include:
- Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism and obesity
- Repetitive motions, like writing, typing or various wrist motions of the wrist. This is especially true when the hands held at a lower point than the wrist during said activity.
If you don’t treat your carpal tunnel syndrome immediately, the symptoms of it may last a lifetime. Speaking of its symptoms, read on below the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be divided into three different stages.
The first part of the symptoms are typically mild and may include:
- Waking up with numb hands
- Pain that can extend up to the elbow
- Clumsiness while holding objects
- Problems moving the fingers
- Numb fingers, except the pinky
- An itching, burning and tingling sensation in the palm of the hand.
The second stage is moderate and similar to the first. Nevertheless, you will notice that these can occur any time of the day or night. This is an indication that the condition is progressing.
When left without any treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome may cause the median nerve to lose all function due to the constant pressure that surrounds it. This means that the condition has become severe, and you will notice the third stage of symptoms, which include:
- Loss of strength and coordination in the fingers, especially the thumb
- Loss of sensation in all of the fingers
- Slowed nerve impulses
The first and second stages of the condition are reversible. However, once you have reached the third stage, there is no treatment to restore normal nerve function.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Here are some of the most effective treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Vics VapoRub. This contains compounds like menthol, eucalyptus oil and camphor, all of which are beneficial in reducing inflammation and getting rid of the symptoms.
- Vitamin B6. The inflammation brought on by carpal tunnel syndrome can cause a vitamin B6 deficiency, so it’s important to supplement the loss.
- Pen grips. These are specially designed to alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Hot massage treatment. This helps improve blood circulation in the affected area and reduces the swelling and inflammation.
- Ice packs. This may help reduce the inflammation, pain and swelling that can occur as a result of the pressure in the affected area.
If you don’t treat your carpal tunnel syndrome immediately, the symptoms may last a lifetime. Therefore, you should treat it as soon as possible!