Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Are you suffering from it?

Today’s advances in technology have proven to be a wonderful thing for many of us. However, with the boom of this computer age many people have been developing different types of injuries to their wrists and hands.  One of the most common repetitive stress injuries affecting our society is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). 

CTS may start with some tingling and/ or pain at the wrist which can eventually radiate to the hand and forearm.  Usually those with this condition also experience decreased sensitivity of the thumb, index finger (pointer), middle finger, and half of the ring finger of the palm side of the hand.  This condition is caused by compression of the median nerve which is located in the carpal tunnel of the wrist.  It can even lead to muscle damage to the affected hand.  The prevalence of this condition has increased considerably, currently affecting 50 cases in 1000 subjects (5%) in the general population.

Many of the people suffering from this condition:

  • usually work on the computer all day (due to poor wrist posture and shape while working, table height, the angle of the elbows, and repetitive motion)
  • are woman that are pregnant (due to swelling and inflammation)
  • are individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and other medical conditions that cause swelling and inflammation
  • are those that had a wrist fracture
  • are people that are constantly working with vibrating tools
  • and those that perform repetitive bending/ twisting movements of the hand/ wrist

Treatment approaches may vary from conservative modalities to surgical interventions.  Treatment can focus on decreasing pain and paresthesias (tingling/ numbness/ pain); increasing or maintaining muscle strength; maintaining function of the hand; use of a splint; anti-inflammatory medications; and patient education (preventative measures).  If this condition is not treated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage and severe loss of hand function.  If these signs and symptoms are affecting or interfering with how you are performing your day to day activities, you should seek medical attention and/ or treatment from an occupational therapist.

By

Esther Gonzalez M.S. OTR/L, Bil TSHH

Senior Partner

Adapting Spaces, LLC

Egonzalez@adaptingspaces.com

888-956-0077

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