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Anyone who has experienced carpal tunnel syndrome knows it can truly be a pain to deal with. We use our hands everyday in nearly everything we do. Most people’s careers depend on the proper function of their hands and wrists. That is why developing this condition can be so detrimental to a person’s everyday life. At The Pain Relief Center, we know just how much you rely on your hands. In this post, we’ll go into further detail about carpal tunnel syndrome, how we treat it, and what you can do personally to prevent it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may also be known as median nerve compression. It is a condition in which numbness, pain, weakness, or a tingling sensation may occur in the hand and arm. It may also result in a burning or itching feeling in these areas.
The carpal tunnel is essentially a narrow passageway that is encased by bones and ligaments on the inner or palm side of the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops due to a pinched or compressed nerve in a person’s wrist. The major nerve that is being compressed passes over the carpal bones at the front of the wrist and forearm, near the flexor tendons of the hand. It negatively affects movement and function of the hand and arm and can even travel all the way up to the shoulder.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression or pressure on the median nerve found in your carpal tunnel. The median nerve is responsible for motor function and sending nerve signals to move and control the muscles surrounding the base of the thumb. It is also responsible for providing sensation to the thumb and fingers on the palm side of your hand.
Essentially, anything that pinches or irritates the median nerve may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop due to the completion of repetitive motions. For example, if your job requires you to type for a majority of the time, you may be more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Other jobs that have a tendency to contribute to the syndrome include bakers, cashiers, hair stylists, musicians, or assembly line workers. Any occupation that requires continuous wrist, arm, or hand motion can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Women who are pregnant may also be prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Women in general are three times more likely to contract it than their male counterparts. This is likely due to them having smaller muscles and tendons in the hand.
Conditions like obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism may also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. A family history of the syndrome or having previously fractured or dislocated your wrist could also pose a higher risk for you.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually but can worsen over time. You may first notice numbness or tingling in most of the fingers and hand. This tingling sensation may feel like a sort of electric shock or spasm. It is generally the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers that are affected. Your pinky will likely remain unaffected.
In addition to the numb and tingling sensation, you may also experience cramping or weakness in your hand. This can result in you dropping things or losing your grip on certain objects as the muscles in your hand shrink and weaken.
The sensation typically starts in the fingers and wrist, but can travel upwards to your forearm. You may notice the sensation more when using your hand to move or hold something. For example, holding a steering wheel, cell phone, or book. It may also be severe enough to wake you from your sleep.
To combat the discomfort, people often attempt to “shake out” their hands as a way to relieve the symptoms. This may work for a while, but the numbness and tingling may become a constant factor over a course of time.
Without the proper treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve and muscle damage in your hand and forearm. It is important that you seek treatment at the onset of symptoms to prevent this possibility. The Pain Relief Center is dedicated to finding the source and cause of your pain and helping you return to your normal lifestyle. We will assist you in regaining control of your life with a variety of pain treatments.
At The Pain Relief Center, we generally use what is called an electromyogram (EMG) to diagnose the condition. This means we will insert a thin electrode into the muscle to detect and measure its electrical activity.
The treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your condition and how far it has progressed. We will likely provide you with exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the carpal tunnel. We may also conduct nerve stimulation and physical therapy and prescribe you with medication that targets the condition.
In addition, we may recommend that you undergo a minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure in our on-site procedure center. These treatments use cutting-edge technology to manage pain and have been shown to be extremely successful in treating it. The procedures offered are all outpatient procedures, meaning you’ll be able to go home that day. Many of the treatments we offer provide instant results, and are able to help patients reclaim their lives.
Prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome can be challenging because there may be a variety of factors contributing to the condition. However, there are some measures you can take in your everyday life to help prevent the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The first measure you should take is to make workstation changes. For example, if you work at a computer typing all day, work to attain proper posture, seating, and hand and wrist placement. It may also be beneficial to keep your wrists held straight when using certain tools or sleeping. When using your hands or wrists, avoid repetitive extension, flexion, and strong grasping.
You should also take frequent breaks from activities that may trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. Performing strength and conditioning exercises before and after activities that require frequent wrist movement will also be beneficial in the long run.
If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, let the professionals at The Pain Relief Center help you. Dr. Rodriguez is a licensed anesthesiologist practicing in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Frisco, and Plano, TX areas. He and his team are dedicated to elimination of pain that comes with conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. They will work with you to create a treatment plan that works best for your lifestyle. Give us a call at 214-709-1904 or leave a message on our website today.
The most critical step on the path to recovery is finding a pain management doctor who can address your pain management needs successfully. The Pain Relief Center and its five specialized institutes are dedicated to meeting any and all of a patient’s needs. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Dr. Rodriguez and his friendly staff will help you along the path to recovery.
Our new center in Dallas is part of a nationwide development by Pain Relief Centers, geared to providing individualized and comprehensive healing and pain management services with unprecedented levels of compassion, care, and comfort for each patient.