Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness, and tingling in a person’s hands or arms–most commonly around the wrist. It’s a condition that gets worse over time, meaning it’s important to catch it early and begin carpal tunnel treatment. Do you know that it affects more than 3 million people every year? We at the Celebration Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute have helped diagnose and treat patients with carpal tunnel syndrome for years. Our goal is to help people learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome, what causes it, and what forms of treatment are available so that they can catch it early and receive the help they need to live without hindrance. For residents of Celebration, FL, we are the best place to find an orthopedic doctor near me.
Carpal Tunnel Causes and Symptoms
The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist designed to protect the median nerve and flexor tendons. When the tunnel becomes narrowed over time, or the flexor tendons swell up, that will put pressure on the median nerve which is the source of the discomfort. If left untreated, this can lead to permanent nerve damage which will cause symptoms to worsen. These symptoms include pain, tingling, and numbness around the area as well as weakness in the ability to use your hands effectively. Here are some causes to the condition:
- Repetitive use of the hands
- Using the same hand and wrist motions over time can aggravate the flexor tendons and cause them to swell.
- Hand or wrist position
- Performing certain activities, like typing, that leave the hand extending or flexing in abnormal ways can cause tendon swelling and place pressure on the median nerve.
- Existing health conditions
- Certain existing conditions can increase your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance are all conditions that have shown correlations with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- The hormonal changes women experience during pregnancy can lead to swelling in certain areas of the body. This includes the flexor tendons.
- One of the more important factors that contribute to your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome is your genetics. For some, the carpal tunnel may be more narrow based on your natural anatomy, which can run in your family.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment Options
The good news about carpal tunnel syndrome is that there are treatment options that can make a significant improvement to your quality of life. Catching your carpal tunnel syndrome early is the best way to mitigate the pain and other symptoms as much as possible, but for severe cases, surgery may be an option. That said, nonsurgical treatments will be recommended first. These include:
- Braces or splints
- Braces and splints can be used to prevent you from bending your wrist, reducing the pressure you place on the median nerve. This is commonly worn at night but can also be worn during parts of the day.
- Activity changes
- Adjusting the way you handle certain activities, whether recreational or for work, can help you minimize the impact on your wrist.
- Nerve exercises
- Some wrist exercises can help patients relieve pressure on their median nerve when performed regularly.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Pain-relief medication can be used to lessen inflammation of the flexor tendons as well as help with other symptoms.
- Steroid Injections
- Some doctors may opt to use corticosteroid, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, can be injected into a patient’s carpal tunnel for relief.
Contact Us for an Orthopedic Doctor Near Me
If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may be feeling symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, having an orthopedic doctor perform an examination can be key in receiving carpal tunnel treatment as early as possible. For residents of Celebration, FL, Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute is here to provide the best orthopedic doctor near me. Contact us today for more information or to set up an appointment.