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Carpal tunnel syndrome: what it is, its symptoms and causes that cause it

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition that can cause very uncomfortable and painful symptoms. We discover what it consists of, its symptoms, what causes it, how it is diagnosed and the most appropriate medical treatment.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered a neuropathy; it causes pain and even lack of sensitivity and movement that starts from the hand, wrist and forearm, producing in addition to pain tingling in the fingers, numbness, weakness and cramps.

Both hands can be affected, together or suffer from this syndrome first in one hand and after a few years in the other and it occurs as a result of repetitive movements that we make with them.

As its name indicates, this syndrome affects the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is the channel found in the wrist and the median nerve and the flexor tendons of the fingers pass through this channel. The pain appears when this nerve is compressed. The median nerve is the one that allows movement and sensation to the fingers and part of the hand.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can be several, although the most common are the repetitive movements we make with our hands.

In fact, our profession greatly influences this, especially working with the computer, packer or packer, hairdressing, regularly using pneumatic hammers, carpentry work… Even regular household chores such as ironing can be a related cause.

But it is not the only one. Some habits such as sleeping with your hands under the pillow can also influence its appearance. Like having suffered some trauma or suffering from some diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or hypothyroidism.

What are your symptoms?

The first symptoms usually appear at night, after being asleep, we notice tingling in the affected hand, pain, cramps and numbness.

These symptoms reach the forearm and reach the elbow with which sleep is interrupted.

When we let time pass with these symptoms, the syndrome will not improve; in any case it will worsen, producing atrophy in the muscles of the hand, preventing us from making the pincer movement, difficulty in grasping objects, weakness and stiffness in the fingers.

Given these symptoms, it is best to go to the doctor and put yourself in the hands of a specialist who will do the appropriate review and tests to confirm the diagnosis.

How is it diagnosed?

The first tests that the specialist will do consist of exploring both the strength and sensitivity of the hand and fingers.

The study is completed with other tests to provoke the symptoms of carpal tunnel such as Tinsel’s test or sign, Halen’s test, Duran’s sign or test.

Halen’s test consists of flexing the elbows while flexing and bringing both palms together forming an angle of 90º with the forearms and without moving them for a minute, the patient will begin to feel tingling that will occur in the median nerve.

The Tinsel test consists of applying gentle pressure following the trajectory of the median nerve, with which the patient will notice tingling and discomfort.

Duran’s test or sign consists of the specialist pressing his thumbs on the carpal tunnel in the median nerve, maintaining pressure for 30 seconds, seconds that will be enough for the patient to feel pain, tingling or numbness.

To complete the study and see how the median nerve is affected, the specialist may request other tests such as a nerve conduction study, a study to see how sensory and motor conduction has decreased, for the latter study an electromyogram is performed.

And how is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Depending on the results of the tests and the degree of affectation of the syndrome, the treatment will depend.

For cases in which the involvement is mild, the treatment usually consists of resting the hand, resting the forearm and hand with a splint at bedtime, taking anti-inflammatory medications, always prescribed by the specialist.

For the most severe or serious cases in which the symptoms have been present for a year or more, the specialist will resort to surgery to release the median nerve.

Surgery usually gives very good results as long as the doctor’s instructions for the postoperative period are followed.

As the days go by, the pain will subside, as well as the rest of the symptoms. In some cases, after passing the postoperative period, it is necessary to do some hand rehabilitation sessions.

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HealthyWire Staff
HealthyWire Staffhttps://healthywire.com/
This blog also features articles on natural living, fitness, healthy children, inspiration, and nutritious food and recipes. HealthyWire assists you in building a naturally healthy, whole-family environment. The site features articles on a variety of topics, including reduction of weight, men’s and women’s health, yoga, healthcare, fitness & exercise, diseases & prevention, healthy living and wellbeing, lifestyle, and much more.

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