Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: All the information you need to get back the feeling
The word carpal in the carpal tunnel syndrome originates from ‘Carpus,’ which in turn is derived from the Greek word ‘Karpos.’ In simple plain English, all these three words (carpal, carpus and karpos) mean ‘wrist’. The human wrist normally has a band of fibrous tissue surrounding it, which provides support to the joint. There exists a tight space in between the wrist bone and this fibrous tissue, which is known as the CTS. This CT serves as the passage for median nerve which receives sensations from the middle, index and thumb fingers of one’s hand. Any medical condition which results in either change in position or inflammation of the tissue inside the carpal tunnel can in turn result in irritation and squeezing of the median nerve. When such irritation and squeezing of the median nerve happens in this manner, it causes numbness and tingling sensation in the middle, index and thumb fingers. This condition is popularly known as CTS
What Causes CTS?
In most of the patients suffering from repetitive motion disorder, the actual cause of the condition is still unknown. However, as per the commonly held perception, any condition which causes exertion of pressure on the median nerve passing through the sensorimotor inside the wrist, can result in occurrence of CTS. Some of the common conditions which are known to result in RSI are diabetes, trauma, pregnancy, arthritis, hypothyroidism and obesity. The inflammation in tendons as a result of repetitive work like uninterrupted typing on a typewriter or keyboard for long hours, can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. When CTS occurs as a result of such repetitive motions, it falls into the category of, and is referred to as one of the types of repetitive stress injuries. Certain types of rare diseases can also cause deposition of some abnormal substances inside and around the carpal tunnel area, causing irritation in the median nerve. Such rare diseases include leukemia, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis and multiple myeloma.
What is the Purpose of this Website?
On this website we will help you gain best possible understanding of the CTS(RSI). In order to do that we have created different categories of CTS related information. Such categorization will make it easy for you to locate the exact information you are looking for and will also assist you in making an informed decision about correct course of action for treatment of this disorder. These categories are:
This section will comprise of all articles and information related to symptoms associated with CTS.
The main symptoms associated with CTS are related to and affect the median nerve that passes through this tunnel inside the wrist and controls the complete hand movement. The three most important symptoms of this condition are pain, numbness and a tingling sensation. All such symptoms occur in the middle finger, the thumb, half of the ring finger and the index finger. Some other possible carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are:
- Swelling, change in the hand’s skin color and an overall dry skin
- Persistent discomfort and a dull ache in the forearm, upper arm or the hand
- The patient might become less sensitive to anyone’s touch, a condition known as hypoaesthesia
- A prickling or burning sensation in the hand (known as paraesthesia), which is quite similar to prickling with needles or pins
- Wasting away and weakness of the thumb muscles (commonly known as atrophy)
- Extreme weakness of the thumb while trying to bend it in the right angle direction, away from palm (known as abduction)
The carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms turn even worse if the patient uses the affected hand. Doing any repetitive actions with the affected wrist or hand can worsen the symptoms, as also can the keeping of hand or arm in one position for a long period of time. It has been noticed that the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms become worse during nighttime, often waking up the patients.
If you are suffering from repetitive strain injury(RSI), your hand may turn very weak and it may get very difficult to grip certain type of objects. Your dexterity or the ability of using your hands to effectively carry out certain types of tasks can get significantly impaired due to this condition as well. It may also get difficult to make use of affected fingers while carrying out certain tasks like typing.
Explore more articles in this category to increase your knowledge about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms.
In this section we will provide all information related to repetitive strain injury treatments.
People suffering from mild symptoms associated with CTS can get relief from the discomfort by taking regular breaks in order to provide rest to their hands and wrists. Application of cold packs can also reduce occasional swelling. In case such natural techniques do not provide relief in a few weeks time, one might have to opt for treatment options such as medications, exercises, wrist splinting, wrist braces, surgery etc. if you have been experiencing only mild to moderate repetitive strain injury symptoms for a period of less than 10 months, certain types of conservative treatments and splinting are most likely to provide you relief from the condition.
Early diagnosis of the condition can be a significant factor in proper treatment of CTS with nonsurgical methods such as specially designed exercise routines, corticosteroids, wrists splinting, carpal tunnel braces and with use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs.
In certain cases if the repetitive strain injury symptoms are too severe and persist even after trying every type of nonsurgical therapy, one might have to undergo CTS/RSI surgery as a last resort. The main purpose of such surgery is to release the pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament which is exerting such pressure on the nerve. CTS surgery can either be an open surgery or an endoscopic surgery.
Explore other articles in this segment to learn more about different types of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment options.
This category deals with all the articles related to CTS/RSI exercises.
Certain types of CTS exercises if done diligently and on a regular basis can provide relief from the painful symptoms of this condition and can sometimes even treat chronic cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. The exact type of exercise to be performed depends on patient to patient and the severity of the condition. Most CTS/RSI exercises are designed specifically to stretch the wrist muscles in order to release tension from the tendons which are directly connected to the carpal tunnel and for strengthening of the muscles in order to make them less vulnerable to injuries.
Many times doctors recommend regular practice of such CTS/RSI exercises along with medication to avoid invasive and painful CTS surgery. These exercises can also be performed by people not suffering from this condition, in order to prevent its future occurrence.
In fact, there are some highly effective and popular carpal tunnel syndrome exercise programs that can completely cure this condition.
Explore more articles in this section to learn more about such exercises and programs.
This category comprises of all articles related to CTS/RSI surgery.
Surgery is normally recommended only in severe cases of the syndrome, when the symptoms persist for a period of more than 10 months and the patient has already tried all types of nonsurgical treatment options without any benefit. Simply put,CTS/RSI surgery is used only as a last resort.
Surgery for CTS is normally called “carpal tunnel decompression surgery“. It is carried out on an outpatient basis, meaning that the patient doesn’t have to get admitted to the hospital. The surgery is performed using local anesthesia so that the operation area remains numb throughout the procedure even while the patient is awake.
Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery can be carried out in two different ways:
Open release surgery - This is a traditional type of CTS/RSI surgery in which the surgeon makes a cut or incision in the patient’s wrist and then cuts the carpal ligament. Once that is done, the carpal tunnel widens and the pressure on the median nerve is released.
Endoscopic surgery – In the CT endoscopic surgery, a thin and long flexible tube which has a camera and a light at one end is passed through the cuts or incisions made on the patient’s wrist. The camera and lights allow the surgeon to view the carpal ligament on the monitor and cut it appropriately to release the median nerve pressure. Endoscopic surgery has faster recovery period in comparison to open surgery.
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This section will deal with all articles related to the development of CTS/RSI in pregnancy.
Although RSI has been mostly associated with people whose daily jobs comprise of repetitive hand movements such as in case of assembly line workers, computer programmers, data processors etc, it is surprisingly prevalent in high numbers in pregnant women too. As many as 20% of all pregnant women experience the painful symptoms of CTS at some point of time during their pregnancy period.
The first episode of CTS in pregnant women happens due to water retention and hormonal changes, which are known to be common developments in pregnancy. Although the nagging CT symptoms can crop up at any time, most of them usually surface in the second half of pregnancy. In certain cases CTS/RSI symptoms carry on into remission post pregnancy, and sometimes the numbness and pain continues even for months or many years after childbirth.
Read through more articles in this category to learn more about occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy.
This category focuses on all articles related to wrist pain associated with repetitive strain injury
The wrist pain can be any sort of mild / severe pain or discomfort in the wrist. More often than not, such wrist pain is the indicator of initial stages of a painful condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Apart from pain in the wrist, one might also experience numbness, aching, burning or a tingling sensation in the fingers, thumb, wrist or palm. The pain in the wrist can sometimes extend up till the elbow and the thumb muscles can become so weak that it can get extremely difficult to maintain grip on things.
Explore more articles in this category to learn about the wrist pain and CTS.