• Home
  • Blog
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

13 August, 2020 Atheeva Santosh

Carpal tunnel syndrome is also called median nerve compression, which causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand, arm or palm. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that is surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. The condition occurs when the median nerve inside this passage gets compressed as it travels through the wrist. This syndrome can occur in both hands.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Exact reasons or causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are not known. Basically whatever that causes the compression of the median tends to develop the condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur due to or could be accompanied with:-

- Repetitive movements of the hand or the wrist like typing, positioning of your wrists while using a mouse, playing musical instruments that keep your fingers and hands engaged for a long time, etc can be a reason for causing swelling in your wrists which will lead to the carpal tunnel syndrome.

- Also prolonged use of instruments, tools, or objects that expose your hands to vibrations.

- Other health conditions like hypothyroidism, obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause

- Fractures, injuries or trauma to the wrist

- Overactive pituitary gland

- Lesions in the wrist

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

The major symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:-

  • Pain, numbness, tingling and burning sensations in the thumb, index, middle and ring finger

  • You feel to shake out your hands when you wake up in the morning
  • Weak and clumsy hands which might cause difficulty in performing fine movements such as buttoning your clothes or to hold things
  • Random shock-like sensations that radiate to the thumb, index, middle and ring finger
  • Dropping objects because of weakness or numbness or loss of proprioception (the awareness about where your hands are in space)

These symptoms can occur even without any injury. Also, they can be more prominent during night time.  If you have symptoms for prolonged duration of days, consult a doctor as you might need medical treatments to get cured.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment 

Treatments mainly aim at reducing the symptoms and to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.

Medications

Corticosteroid injections –  A doctor might suggest corticosteroid injections to get relief from inflammations. Pain may increase at first but gradually you will get relief. These are to be taken only if your doctor prescribes them as they seem to have certain adverse side effects on health.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – NSAIDs as aspirin or ibuprofen can help in getting relief from short term pain. The drugstore online India keeps a well stock of all the drugs for providing timely online drug deliveries.

Wrist splinting-  A splint that holds and provides support while you sleep can help to get relief from nighttime pains or symptoms of numbness.

Surgery

In severe cases, surgeries are needed to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel release surgery which is also called carpal tunnel decompression is an outpatient procedure where the carpal ligament is cut to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

In the early stages of the syndrome, the following measures can provide relief and might cure the condition without further treatments:-

-  Give rest to your hands by taking frequent breaks from work or tasks that involve hand or wrist movement.

- Avoid activities that make the conditions worse

- Apply cold packs to reduce the swelling.

- Exercises: Stretching and other strengthening exercises can make you feel better

- Losing weight if you are overweight or obese

- Avoid sleeping on your hands.

How to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

You can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by providing necessary care for your hands or wrist if you are a frequent user of those repetitive motions that can cause the syndrome. This care can be given by being more careful and mild with daily life activities. These are:-

Softer Touch

Be aware of how much pressure you give your hands on a daily basis. Try to do tasks like typing or that involves your finger in a much relaxed and softer manner than being harsh and firm on grips and pressings.

Finger Stretching

Take a break and make a fist. Then stretch out your fingers and fan them out. Repeat this 5-10 times to keep your wrist and fingers intact.

The Bottom Line: 

Other than these measures, if one suffers from the syndrome; then they can also choose alternative treatments like practicing Yoga, certain hand therapies, and ultrasound therapy which reduces the pain in the muscle tissues. For most patients, surgeries will recover the symptoms but might need hand therapies to get completely cured. In some cases, you can take a pain reliever such as aspirin or naproxen sodium for relief. You can always choose to buy them from the best online medicine app in India.