Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and You
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common types of repetitive motion injuries suffered today, next to lower back injuries. If you work in an occupation or enjoy hobbies that require constant use of your hands, you may be susceptible to serious injuries that can impede your work and ability to earn a living, enjoy your hobbies and lead a productive and enjoyable life.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by inflammation in the median nerves that connects your forearm to your wrist. The inflammation causes swelling that puts pressure on your median nerve and results in serious numbness, pain, reduced gripping power, and tingling in your hands, wrists, or fingers. People who are most susceptible to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are typists, writers, piano players and other musicians, and even some people that have diabetes, thyroid problems and other medical issues.
How You’ll Know That You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The best way to determine whether or not you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to visit your doctor and have tests done to determine the source of your pain and other problems. The most common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involve those listed previously, like numbness or tingling in your hands, wrists or fingers, reduced gripping power and pain. Other symptoms that may help you decide it’s time to go to the doctor include a decreased sense of feeling in your fingers or your thumb, pain when holding your wrist in a bent position or other painful sensations up your forearm.
How to Prevent and Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or are trying to prevent it, there are several ways that you can reduce the amount of pressure and inflammation in your wrists and forearms. Here are some of the best ways to protect your arms, your livelihood and your quality of life:
- Give yourself and your hands plenty of rest and ice.
- Elevate your wrists when they’re not in use to reduce inflammation.
- Consider wearing compression gloves to help reduce and prevent inflammation.
- Take anti-inflammatory medications to help with your pain and inflammation. Your doctor can prescribe these medications or you may consider over the counter options, like Aleve.
- In severe cases, you may need surgery to relieve the pressure, pain and inflammation caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.