The Causes, Symptoms, diagnosis, and Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) often does not require special treatment because it can recover by itself in a few months. If CTS need to be treated, the treatment depends on the severity and how long the patient has suffered from this condition.
If CTS appear during pregnancy, the symptoms disappear on their own within two to three months after childbirth. However, when CTS is severe, doctors can provide medication.
To prevent the increase in CTS, people need to avoid activities involving a lot of finger movements and hands. If the symptoms of CTS are not improving after a few weeks, there are some medications that can be given by the doctor.
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Befote discussing about treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, let us first know the causes, syndrome, and diagnosis of Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
The median nerve is very sensitive to pressure, so any slightest pressure is prone to cause CTS syndrome. Here are some factors that can increase the risk of CTS:
- Arthritis, especially if there is swelling in the joints of the wrist or tendon flowing through the carpal tunnel.
- Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, may affect the connective tissue and give pressure to the nerves.
- The thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, namely hypothyroidism.
- Diabetes disease.
- Wrist fractures.
- Genetic factors.
- Heavy work that requires wrist use.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome raises tingling and numbness in the hands. Sometimes, the symptoms are also felt in the forearm. This condition appears gradually in a few weeks. The symptoms of CTS tend to deteriorate at night. Hanging or shaking hands can help relieve pain and tingling. Here are the common symptoms of CTS:
- Numbness, tingling, and pain in the thumb and first three fingers of the hand.
- Pain and burning sensation that spreads through the arms.
- Wrist pain at night.
- Weakness in the muscles of the hand.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
To determine the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor will usually perform a physical exam on the hand and wrist. The one that will be evaluated is the range of wrist movements.
People who have experienced wrist injuries usually have abnormalities in the range of wrist movements. The strength of the hands and fingers can also be examined, using a healthy side comparison. In addition, doctors can also ask questions related to the symptoms experienced through a series of medical interviews.
Here are some tests that can be used to determine the diagnosis:
- Neural conduction studies.
- Physical tests.
- Blood tests.
In addition to the several tests that must be undergone, you may also be referred to a neurologist, rheumatologist, or orthopedic surgeon to evaluate a nervous condition or the possible presence of arthritis that leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.
For people who have carpal tunnel syndrome, measurement of electrical activity of the hand muscles can reveal signs of muscle damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually involves half a thumb up to half of your ring finger.
Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an inflammatory process. However, pain is a common complaint, and anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes used to treat pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) may give a slight relief but may not cure carpal tunnel syndrome.
The direct injection of steroid medication by your physician into the carpal tract has been shown to be an effective treatment for some people with carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a procedure that can be done at the doctor’s office with little discomfort.
Learn more about: How To Cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Physical Therapy (physiotherapy) can be very useful after the carpal tunnel surgery. Therapy can reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain after surgery. Therapy can also help restore strength after surgery. Not everyone needs therapy after surgery, but for some people, this can be very helpful.
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