Those most at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are those who have jobs that involve constant repetitive and/or static motion, particularly of the wrists, arms, and hands. While this might instantly bring office workers to mind, this problem stretches well past the basic cubicles of a call center or of a data entry center. Carpal tunnel syndrome actually afflicts more assembly line workers and grocers than computer workers. Grocery checkers are actually considered so highly at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome that even the federal government has singled them out as a group that needs support to combat this affliction.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can develop for many years with no noticeable symptoms. However, when the first symptoms do appear they include burning or tingling sensations in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to grasp onto objects, and a weakness of the hands. Because Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves the median nerve, it affects the parts of the hand that the median nerve supplies. These include the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most recognized and prevalent among the general populace. And due to this recognition, many people are concerned about being afflicted with carpal tunnel and its debilitating symptoms, a concern that should be on the minds of anyone that is involved in work or recreational activities that require extensive use of the hands, especially in static motions such as "gripping" and/or repetitive motions like typing, clicking a computer mouse, assembly, etc.
The best way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, however, is to prevent the condition from occurring. In most cases, this can be done by limiting repetitive motions such as typing for long periods of time. Simple stretching of the wrist and fingers throughout the day may also prevent the median nerve from becoming injured. Stabilization of the fingers and wrist may also prevent further symptoms.
The one main problem with cortisone is that for 21 days following the injection, the tendons have the consistency of rubber and can be seriously overstretched and damaged. This is a common side effect that most doctors fail to tell their patients. If the patient continues overusing and/or stressing their hands and wrists, the tendons can overstretch and cause the structural integrity of the joint to diminish greatly, causing the joint to become loose and sloppy, resulting in an even greater possibility of further injury and damage.
There are many over the counter drug prescriptions to help relieve the pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Among the more popular ones are anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by doctors for pain-relief. However, be careful on drugs prescription, as there might be long term effects to this type of treatment. Although the pain might be temporarily relieved, in the long run, the root of the symptoms are not completely eliminated. Therefore, it is better to use the drugs sparingly.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can develop for many years with no noticeable symptoms. However, when the first symptoms do appear they include burning or tingling sensations in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to grasp onto objects, and a weakness of the hands. Because Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves the median nerve, it affects the parts of the hand that the median nerve supplies
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an amalgamation of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel. For some it's due to a congenital predisposition while other factors may be trauma or injury to the wrist causing swelling such as sprain or fracture, too much wear of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis, work stress, the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal etc.
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One of the most common clinical problems I see in my orthopedic practice is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). I'm sure you or someone you know has suffered from CTS. In the United States alone, well over 100,000 people a year undergo carpal tunnel surgery. For such a common disorder, it's amazing that doctors have so little understanding about what actually causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome reached epidemic proportions in the 90's and has now achieved a status equaling pandemic proportions in the 21st century. With carpal tunnel syndrome having such devastating effects on millions of people each year, how do you know if you or someone you know has it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is usually caused by repetitive finger and hand use (especially with improper positioning). Such repetitive movements of the fingers and hands can cause the median nerve to become compressed and irritated as it passes through the carpal tunnel.
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