Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease that occurs in the hand of a patient.
This condition s characterized by tingling sensation, pain, weakness, and numbness. The disease usually affects the middle, index, and thumb finger. These manifestations are frequently troublesome during night time. The median nerve, a primary nerve, passes through the posterior part of the arms and penetrates the hand via the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is situated in the central portion of the wrist. In patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, the pressure situated in the carpal tunnel is elevated than in healthy normal people. Because of the increase in pressure, median nerve pain occurs.
Many diseases can be the origin of the increased carpal tunnel pressure and lead to a median neuropathy at the wrist. This syndrome was first identified with conked out wrist. A conked out wrist can cause hemorrhage and inflammation with the carpal tunnel, which can further lead to an increased carpal tunnel pressure. Most patients with median neuropathy at the wrist have no particular cause. It is most common in mid-adult women. This condition is detected based on the manifestations reported by the patient in collaboration with physical tests and electrical impulses studies.
What are the Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Median neuropathy has various causes. There are contributory factors related with the occurrence of this condition such as pregnancy, endocrine disorders (See: hypothyroidism symptoms and diabetes mellitus), Wrist pain injury or fracture, rheumatoid arthritis (other diseases that cause the swelling of the wrist), and alcoholism.
This syndrome is very rare in young ones. The correlation between carpal tunnel syndrome and work is uncertain. Situation of excessive wrist extension and flexion are known to augment the carpal tunnel pressures and apply pressure located inside the median nerve. Duration, frequency, and intensity of work activity and the patient’s relationship to this disease are still not known. Some physicians believe that movements may lead to the progression of this syndrome to some extent.
What are the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms?
The following are carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. A person can still have this condition even if you have only some symptoms mentioned below.
- Numbness, tingiling sensation, and pain (typically a burning-like pain) in the middle, index, and thumb fingers
- Radiating pain, tingling sensation, or numbness, which can heave to the arms to the elbows (See: Elbow pain)
- Hand weakness
- Dropping of items
- Difficulty handling and feeling small items
Manifestations are typically worse during night time and are sometimes momentarily relieved by moving the hands or shaking it out.
How to Diagnose this Disease?
The diagnosis of this disease is alleged based on the manifestations and the allocation of numbness of the hand. Assessment of the elbow, shoulder, reflexes, and pulses can be done to rule out other diseases that can imitate median neuropathy. The wrist of the patient may be assessed for warmth, swelling, deformity, discoloration, and tenderness. Sometimes pattering the front portion of the wrist can create a tingling sensation in the hand. This tingling sensation is identified as Tinel’s sign of this disease. Manifestations may also at times created by the physician by flexing the wrist forward, called as Phalen’s maneuver.
Detecting this disease is powerfully suggested when a NCV or nerve conduction velocity test result is irregular. This test includes the measuring the electrical impulses’ rate of speed as they pass through a nerve. In this condition, the impulses slow as it cross all the way through the carpal canal. EMG or electromyogram, an assessment of muscles in different extremities, is sometimes done to rule out or diagnose other diseases that may mimic median neuropathy. Blood tests can be done to discover medical diseases related with this disease. These tests involve complete blood counts, protein analysis, thyroid hormone levels, and blood sugar analysis. X-ray tests of the hand and wrist may as well be useful to identify irregularities of the joints and bones of the wrist.
What are the Treatments for this Syndrome?
The suggested treatment for this condition relies on the severity of manifestations and any underlying condition that may be causing the manifestations.
Preliminary management typically includes splinting the wrist to immobilize it, rest, and intermittently ice application. Those whose professions are worsening the median neuropathy symptoms must modify their actions. These actions, along with range of motion, stretching exercise of both wrists, and periodic resting can actually avert the manifestations of carpal tunnel syndrome that are caused by recurring overuse of the wrists. Fractures will need orthopedic interventions. Obese patients will be recommended to reduce his weight. Rheumatoid arthritis is managed with interventions directed against arthritis. Swelling of the wrist that may be related with pregnancy relieves subsequent to the delivery of the newborn. Several forms of drugs have been utilized in the management of this disease. Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 has been accounted to resolve some manifestations of this condition, even though it is still not known how these drugs work.