People who need to sit at a desk and work on their computer all day frequently fall victim to pain in the hands and wrist, which in their harshest form, can turn into an very painful disorder, known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The name comes from the fact that the pain is caused by pressure being on the median nerve which sits in the carpal tunnel of your wrist.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a result of nerve entrapment; that is, when the tunnel inside the bones of your wrist constricts, the surrounding tissues as well as the median nerve become inflamed. Why is the median nerve so important? Well, it is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb and several fingers, therefore, when pressure is placed on the nerve because of swollen or inflamed tissues, such as ligaments and tendons in the carpal tunnel, extreme pain may result.
The individuals who are most at risk of carpal tunnel are typically engaged in repetitive motions throughout the day, such as those who are required to type on their computers for several hours consecutively. Others include:
Even hobbies such as gardening, needlework, golfing etc can leadto carpal tunnel syndrome and more often than not, increase the severity of symptoms.
It’s important to remember that the typical symptoms of CTS can also be mistaken for other medical conditions and vice versa. Always consult with your first first, before and after the diagnosis. Common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are:
A proper workup of an experienced physiatrist is required so that the proper diagnosis of CTS can be made. A standard workup will include:
Your physician will start the required treatment, depending on how bad your condition is. Options of therapy include:
There is also a possibility that you may need to undergo surgery to effectively treat CTS, if your symptoms do not respond to the above treatments.