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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition affecting the hands and distal arms. It causes pain, tingling, and numbness, which often worsens over time. When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, recognizing the factors that contribute to its progression and its early symptoms can help with its prevention and treatment. 

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist, with small bones called carpal bones forming the floor and sides. The transverse carpal ligament is a strong band of connective tissue that forms the roof of the tunnel. Overall, the boundaries of the carpal tunnel are very narrow. 

Passing through the carpal tunnel is the median nerve, a nerve responsible for feeling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers along with the muscles along the base of the thumb.  

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve (one of the major nerves in the hand) becomes compressed. The compression occurs when the carpal tunnel, an area that is already narrow, becomes narrowed, or if the tissues surrounding the flexor tendons (which also pass through the carpal tunnel) swell.

If no preventative measures are taken when carpal tunnel first manifests, the pressure on the median nerve can cause nerve damage and symptoms that continue to worsen. It may also reach a point where the damage becomes permanent.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are a variety of causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, although, in general, it is most common in women and older adults.

Genetics

If you have a parent or grandparent who had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, your chances of developing it are higher. This is because genetics can play a role in the diameter of the carpal tunnel; with some people simply having a narrow carpal tunnel that predisposes them to carpal tunnel syndrome, a characteristic that can be passed on.

Repetitive Hand Use

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common type of repetitive strain injury that can occur in those who repeat the same hand and wrist movements for a prolonged period. In the same manner, this continual use can aggravate the tendons in the wrist, which may cause them to swell as they press against the median nerve.

Hand and Wrist Position

If the hands and/or wrists remain in a position of extreme extension or flexion for an extended period of time, the amount of pressure on the nerve can also increase. This is a common problem for those who spend a significant amount of time using their computer without proper wrist support.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions are commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid imbalance.

How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At Injury Doctors NYC, we know that when carpal tunnel syndrome is caught in its early stages, its symptoms are often easily managed by wearing a wrist splint or avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms.

Additionally, there are medications and interventional treatments that our doctors at Injury Doctors NYC can provide, which help manage the symptoms of Carpal tunnel syndrome and slow the progression of disease.

Carpal tunnel syndrome that is more extensive due to continued pressure applied to the median nerve may require surgery to help remove pressure from the nerve and prevent permanent damage.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to see one of our doctors at Injury Doctors NYC at any of our 6 convenient locations in New York to begin preventive care before the condition worsens and becomes permanent. Keeping in mind the factors contributing to carpal tunnel syndrome can also go a long way in preventing it.