Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common disorder that affects the hands and wrists and can cause significant pain and discomfort. While an injury or repetitive motion usually causes it, CTS can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes. Understanding what it is, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and what treatments are available is essential.
What Are the Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a result of median nerve compression.
The median nerve goes from the forearm to the hand via a tube in the wrist (carpal tunnel) (carpal tunnel). Except for the little finger, it gives sensation to the palm side of the fingers and thumb. It also transmits nerve signals to the thumb-base muscles (motor function).
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by anything that compresses or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel region. A wrist fracture, as well as the edema and inflammation generated by rheumatoid arthritis, can narrow the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve.
What Are the Risk Elements for Carpal Tunnel?
1. Anatomical Considerations
A wrist fracture or dislocation, as well as arthritis that deforms the small bones of the wrist, can modify the space within the carpal tunnel, putting pressure on the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be more common in people with smaller carpal tunnels.
2. Conditions That Cause Inflammation
The lining of the tendons in the wrist can be compromised by rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, putting pressure on the median nerve.
Medications. Some research has found a link between carpal tunnel syndrome and the usage of anastrozole (Arimidex), a breast cancer treatment.
3. The Fluid in the Body Changes
Fluid retention can cause pressure to build up within the carpal tunnel, aggravating the median nerve. This frequently happens during pregnancy and menopause. It is caused by pregnancy and usually resolves on its own after the pregnancy.
4. Factors in the Workplace
Working with vibrating equipment or on an assembly line that needs lengthy or repetitive wrist flexing may damage the median nerve or worsen existing nerve injury, especially if done in a chilly environment.
How Can You Reduce The Risk of Carpal Tunnel?
A neutral wrist position is critical: your wrists should remain straight, not bent up or down. You should also keep your arms close to your body and take breaks often to allow for adequate rest. Additionally, if your job requires you to use tools or machines, adjust them so that they are at an ergonomic height.
Another way to help prevent carpal tunnel is by avoiding activities that require excessive force from your wrists and hands. For example, avoid vigorous activities such as woodworking, typing for long periods, or playing racquet sports if possible. If you cannot avoid such moves altogether, take adequate breaks from them so that you don’t place too much strain on your wrists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be extremely painful and disabling. Understanding the causes and associated risk elements is essential to reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel.
Making sure to keep your wrists in a neutral position, using ergonomic tools, and avoiding activities that require excessive force from your wrists can all help prevent carpal tunnel. If you experience any of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is essential to seek medical attention right away.
If you need carpal tunnel treatment or consultation, North Florida Hand and Wrist is here! Our board-certified team provides the highest quality care and is committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Make an appointment now!