CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpus is a word derived from the Greek word "karpos" which means "wrist." The wrist is surrounded by a band of fibrous tissue that normally functions as a support for the joint. The tight space between this fibrous band and the wrist bone is called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel to receive sensations from the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the hand. Any condition that causes swelling or a change in position of the tissue within the carpal tunnel can squeeze and irritate the median nerve. Irritation of the median nerve in this manner causes tingling and numbness of the thumb, index, and the middle fingers, a condition known as "carpal tunnel syndrome.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Doing the same hand movements over and over can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. It's most common in people whose jobs require pinching or gripping with the wrist held bent. People at risk include people who use computers, carpenters, grocery checkers, assembly-line workers, meat packers, musicians and mechanics. Hobbies such as gardening, needlework, golfing and canoeing can sometimes bring on the symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is linked to other things too. It may be caused by an injury to the wrist, such as a fracture. Or it may be caused by a disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid disease. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common during the last few months of pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually with a vague aching in your wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm. Other common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb, index, middle or ring fingers, but not your little finger. This sensation often occurs while driving a vehicle or holding a phone or a newspaper or upon awakening. Many people "shake out" their hands to relieve their symptoms.
- Pain radiating or extending from your wrist up your arm to your shoulder or down into your palm or fingers, especially after forceful or repetitive use. This usually occurs on palm side of your forearm.
- A sense of weakness in your hands and a tendency to drop objects.
- A constant loss of feeling in some fingers. This can occur if the condition is advanced.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention
When you spend a lot of time on the computer, be sure to take breaks and not overdo it. Just getting up to stretch or do something else for a while can help. You might even set an alarm clock or a kitchen timer to go off every hour or so to remind you to take your breaks.
At the computer, be sure your work area is comfortable. Use a chair that can be adjusted for your height so that you aren't sitting down too low or up too high. Your chair, computer screen, and keyboard should all be in line. And try to follow these rules while sitting:
- Hold your elbows at your sides with your wrists in front to set the keyboard height.
- Keep your forearms and wrists straight and don't bend your wrists up.
- If you use a wrist pad, don't press into it when you type.
- Place things you use a lot within close reach, with no item farther than an arm's length away.
When you take these steps, you're treating your wrists just right. And if you ever get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, remember that there's always light at the end of the carpal tunnel.
I am a reporter. I had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It do really disturbing my life because of the pain. My friend suggested me to go for a treatment at Master Leong place. I started my intensive acupuncture treatment 2 months ago. Now my hand do not feel pain anymore and I can do my work nicely.Jasimah ,32 years old
Email your question about
disease to Master