Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful progressive disorder that is the major cause of pain and numbness in the hands. It is caused due to the compression of the median nerve. The median nerve carries sensation to the thumb, index and middle finger. It passes through the carpal tunnel, a confined space formed by the eight carpal bones. The entrapment of the median nerve occurs due to excess strain on the wrist. Swelling of the flexing tendons in the wrist also lead to this painful condition.
Causes and Symptoms
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is commonly seen in people involved in activities such as cutting, sewing, golfing, canoeing, playing the violin and prolonged working on the computer. It can also be congenital, as some people are born with a smaller carpal tunnel. Other causative factors are rheumatoid arthritis, injury to the wrist, diabetes, menopause and hypothyroidism.
The most common symptoms observed are pain, numbness and tingling in the affected hand. Patients experience a feeling of swelling, even though there is no apparent external swelling. The symptoms typically appear during the night. The patient often faces difficulty in gripping and holding things.
Wrist Support As Treatment
Anti-inflammatory drugs can treat initial stages of carpal tunnel syndrome. Splinting is most effective, when done within three months of the first occurrence of the symptoms. The wrist support treatment offers better and long-lasting relief. Various kinds of wrist splints and braces are available. Patients can use wrist support pads while working on the computer, to maintain proper alignment of the wrist. It is advised to wear wrist braces while doing repetitive work with the hands. The standard wrist brace is made of padded, soft and breathable material. It allows free movement of the thumb and fingers. Neoprene wrist supports offer comfort and maintain proper alignment of the hand. The Wristband helps stabilize the forearm muscles near the wrist. It acts as a shock absorber and is available in different wrist sizes. The knitted wrist improves blood circulation to the area and reduces pain and discomfort. Wrist splints decrease repetitive flexion and reduce consequent swelling. Wearing the splint full-time produces better and long-lasting relief.
Effective combination of the different lines of treatment can successfully cure the disorder. It is necessary not to put undue strain on the affected hand and to take all the required precautions.