Anyone can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The more you know about the condition, the easier it is to recognize it and the more quickly you can seek relief.
What is it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common musculoskeletal disorder. While it’s often associated with repetitive motion in the workplace or during leisure activities, it can also develop in patients with diabetes or thyroid disease, or during pregnancy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by swelling in the carpal tunnel of the wrist, which puts pressure on the median nerve, creating pain, numbness and tingling. Usually the first symptoms are mild and, infrequent and may improve with rest. As use of the hand or wrist increases with repetitive tasks such as typing, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can become worse.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms. Early diagnosis is important to successful treatment. Options may include stretching, wrist braces or splints, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, strengthening exercises or cortisone steroid injection. Surgery is usually the last option, for people who have not responded to non-operative treatments. Sometimes your physician will request a special nerve test known as a nerve conduction study/electromyography (NCS/EMG) to help with the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.