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Hands Feel Numb Often? Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Picture: Google

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition that occurs when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the wrist.

This compression can cause the individual to feel numbness, tingling, and even pain in their hands or forearms.

How can it happen?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow channel surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of the hand. When the area of the tunnel is swollen, it will compress the median nerve and interrupt the nerve’s function. At first, the individual will feel numbness, tingling and pain in their hand or forearm. When this condition occurs chronically, the motor nerve, which is the nerve that associates with muscle movement, will also be involved. As a result, the strength of the hand grip will decrease and the muscle on the hand will shrink.

What are the symptoms?

Some of the apparent symptoms are:

  • a feeling of numbness, tingling, and pain especially in the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers.
  • feeling shock-like radiations that transmit to the thumb and index, middle and ring fingers.
  • the pain and tingling extend to the whole hand or up to the wrist and forearm toward the shoulder
  • weakened hands and unable to do basic movements
  • stiff fingers
  • inability to make a fist

Who’s at risk?

  • Occupation: Involves jobs that use a lot of hands such as a job that involves typing all day, chef, the seamstress.
  • Increasing age: Most patients are over 30 years old.
  • Female gender: Studies have found that the ratio between females and males for this disease is 3-10:1.
  • Pregnant women
  • Increasing body weight
  • Petite individuals
  • Hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid hormone)
  • Heredity: Those who have relatives with this problem will have a greater chance of getting this syndrome. This may be because they have a similar body structure.
  • Some types of diseases: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure, tumors in the carpal tunnel, amyloidosis, and some other types diseases.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Also, often doctors will advise doing a treatment that does not involve surgery first. This is because the symptoms may be less or disappear when doing these things:

Additionally, some things that can be done to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are: 

1. The use of a sling on the wrist: It should be used especially when sleeping so that the position of the hand is in a neutral position.

2. Undergo physiotherapy

3. Use of medication: Steroid injections in the carpal tunnel have been shown to reduce the symptoms. It is often done when other treatments have not worked.

4. Surgery: Patients who still have symptoms after treatment may be advised to undergo surgery. In this surgery, the upper part of the carpal tunnel, which is the flexor retinaculum tissue, will be opened and released to reduce the pressure in the tunnel.

Sources: Dr Samhan, Mayo Clinic, Ortho Info

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