Carpal Tunnel - Healtopedia Malaysia - Best Health Screening Packages in Malaysia

Carpal Tunnel

Overview

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms in the hand and arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist.

The anatomy of your wrist, health problems and possibly repetitive hand motions can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Proper treatment usually relieves the tingling and numbness and restores wrist and hand function.

What Facts?

  1. Cause: There are nine flexor tendons running through the carpal tunnel which is shared with the median nerve. The repetitive use of the median nerve causes inflammation which compresses the nerve resulting in pain. 
  2. Prevention: As with many conditions involving pain and range of motion issues prevention is the best way to avoid CTS. Patients should be encouraged to use proper ergonomics when using a computer and take frequent rests.
  3. Symptoms: Patients suffering from CTS most commonly complain of numbness, pain and stiffness in the wrist as well as motor deficit.
  4. Diagnosis: Diagnosis is determined in a number of ways but most commonly involves Electro-neuropathy which measures the slowing down of the conductivity of the wrist.
  5. Treatments: Massage will relieve pressure on the nerves while increasing micro-vascular blood supply to the nerves. This will in turn lessen the pain associated with CST.

Relevance

Carpal tunnel syndrome can have a pretty significant impact on someone's quality of life. Pain or muscle weakness may prevent a person from doing important tasks at work, forcing them to choose another occupation. These symptoms may also affect a person's hobbies, or even everyday activities like driving.

What Causes?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve.

The median nerve runs from your forearm through a passageway in your wrist (carpal tunnel) to your hand. It provides sensation to the palm side of your thumb and fingers, except the little finger. It also provides nerve signals to move the muscles around the base of your thumb (motor function).

Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture can narrow the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve, as can the swelling and inflammation resulting from rheumatoid arthritis.

There is no single cause in many cases. It may be that a combination of risk factors contributes to the development of the condition.

How to Identify?

Doctors can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome using a combination of your history, a physical examination, and tests called nerve conduction studies. A physical examination includes a detailed evaluation of your hand, wrist, shoulder, and neck to check for any other causes of nerve pressure.

What Symptoms?

  • Tingling or numbness. You may experience tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand. Usually the thumb and index, middle or ring fingers are affected, but not your little finger. Sometimes there is a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers.
    The sensation may travel from your wrist up your arm. These symptoms often occur while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper. The sensation may wake you from sleep.
    Many people “shake out" their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. The numb feeling may become constant over time.
  • Weakness. You may experience weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb's pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.

What to Do?

Doctors can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome using a combination of your history, a physical examination, and tests called nerve conduction studies. A physical examination includes a detailed evaluation of your hand, wrist, shoulder, and neck to check for any other causes of nerve pressure.