Did you ever feel tingling or numbness in your arms? Did it get worse with time? If yes, you may have to consult a doctor immediately because you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may happen when a nerve in your wrist is pinched. It occurs due to pressure on the median nerve – which runs through the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand.
In many instances, this is a result of a typical everyday activity that includes frequent use of vibrating hand tools, playing musical instruments, or manual labor.
It may also be caused by health conditions like hypothyroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
How can I know if I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
These symptoms are seen in patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The symptoms typically start gradually.
A burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm (hand) and thumb, or index and middle fingers.
Fingers may “fall asleep” and become numb during the night. That usually happens in the evening due to the relaxed position of your hand and while sleeping.
Waking up in the morning with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run to your shoulder.
Can I prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes, you can prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by following these tips –
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by managing body weight and avoiding smoking, drinking
Avoiding sleeping positions that may cause wrists to bend or curling
Keeping the hands warm by wearing fingerless gloves
Avoid holding anything too tight as it may cause pressure on the hands
Take frequent breaks and change eh hand position regularly
Improve your posture and body mechanics at your workstation. Pay attention to your computer usages like monitor, chair, keyboard, and mouse, or other equipment and tools.
What if I am already experiencing the symptoms?
Consult the doctor immediately when you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Once the condition is diagnosed, follow the below tips for managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Take regular breaks – While typing, playing guitar or doing any activity that involves using a hand. Set the alarm for every 15-20 minutes and when it rings, stop doing the work and wiggle your fingers, stretch fingers, and move your wrists and fingers to improve blood circulation to the hand.
Wear splints while sleeping – Keeping the hands straight can help relieve the pressure (which usually happens during nights) on the median nerve, and wearing a splint helps in keeping the hand straight. Splints can also be worn during the daytime if you have issues with repetitive tasks at work.
Stay warm as keeping your hands warm can help with pain and stiffness. Consider wearing gloves and/or use hand warmers for his.
Elevate your hands and wrists whenever possible – This tip is especially helpful if your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is due to pregnancy, fractures, or other issues of fluid retention.
Wrist exercises – Consider wrist exercises while waiting in a queue or sitting at your desk at work. Try this exercise- make a fist and then slide your fingers until they are straight again; repeat this 5-10 times.
Try OTC medications for relieving pain like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Traditional treatments – The doctor may recommend corticosteroids that help in reducing pain and inflammation. This is particularly effective if inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Surgery – this is recommended if other treatment options don’t relieve pressure on the nerve. The surgery includes cutting the ligament involved as makes you feel better and prevents further damage to the nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be painful and may affect your quality of life. So, if you have been experiencing symptoms for some time, consult the doctor to ask about ways that can help relieve the pain and pressure. Early diagnosis and treatment is an excellent way to prevent permanent nerve damage. If diagnosed with the condition, follow the above tips that can help manage the condition.
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