Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes trapped in the carpal tunnel. It is related to conditions such as repetitive occupational trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, and wrist fractures, among others. In 15% of cases, it is idiopathic (unknown cause). Furthermore, its incidence is between 0.1 and 10 per cent and increases with age, especially between 45 and 54 years.
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome
The causes are multiple and varied and are not always related to a disease.
Most commonly, it appears due to activities related to hand and wrist movements or local trauma. However, carpal tunnel syndrome can appear associated with endocrine, rheumatic, deposit diseases and tumours, among others.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
Some of the first symptoms are pain in the wrist and forearm, accompanied by cramps and tingling in the fingers. These can make the diagnosis worse if left untreated, causing weakness and atrophy in certain muscles of the hand. The most common symptoms are:
-Pain in the ventral aspect of the hand, thumb, index and middle fingers, and in the middle of the ring finger. This pain is exacerbated when doing certain activities, such as holding the wheel to drive or holding a book to read.
-In addition, due to the loss of sensitivity of the median nerve, a feeling of clumsiness may be associated.
-Symptoms can worsen the diagnosis if left untreated, causing weakness and atrophy in certain muscles of the hand.
Prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome
It is recommended to take care of the hands when carrying out activities that could endanger them. Factors such as obesity, diabetes, smoking or alcohol must also be emphasized.
For long-term work with computers, it is recommended that the keyboard be adjusted to the height of the forearms to prevent flexing of the wrists for extended periods.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
Treatment consists of anti-inflammatories, wrist straps, and wrist splints. It is also recommended to go to a physical therapist to perform stretching exercises of the flexor muscles repeatedly a day to release pressure from the median nerve.
You can read more here: What are the treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
At Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Book an appointment to get a checkup.