Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve disorders. The carpal tunnel is located on the palm side of the hand at the wrist just beneath the skin surface. Its named carpal tunnel because eight small wrist bones known as carpals, form three sides of the tunnel. The Median nerve and the tendons of several flexion muscle pass through the carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful, progressive condition that occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed in the tunnel. Symptoms include tingling, burning, or itching and numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and index finger. CTS affects up to 6 percent of adults in the United States. The prevalence increases with age and it’s common between age 45 and 64 years. The incidence is increased in women.
Symptoms usually develop over time and first appear during the night or early morning. You might feel like shaking out the hands or if you sleep with your wrists curl in and fingers might be numb when you wake up. You may wake repeatedly during the night. There are 3 main symptoms associated with CTS: Pain, Numbness and Tingling, mainly occurring in the thumb, index, middle finger and half the ring finger. Symptoms can extend to the hand and up the forearm.
Symptoms can persist during the day as CTS worsens. You begin to lose grip strength and have difficulty picking up or grasping small objects. Typing on a keyboard, buttoning buttons and opening bottles gets challenging. The symptoms may worsen – tingling, burning sensation and pain after using the hand or if the hands has been inactive, especially if resting the wrist causes contact or compression. Over time, if left untreated, the muscles at the base of the thumb get weak and you can lose your sense of hot and cold.
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing CTS.
• not gripping too hard when performing manual tasks
• not overbending the wrist all the way down or up
• try to sleep and work with the wrists fairly straight
• avoid repetitious movements especially flexing and extending the wrists
• good postural alignment prevents putting strain on the wrist and hands
• redesign your workstation to reduce awkward wrist positions
• rest and take breaks when performing tasks that use the hands to protect against the long-term effects
• keep the hands warm by wearing gloves in a cold environment
• If you flex your wrists at night, wearing a splint to keep the wrists from bending can be a good.
• If your looking for gloves to prevent carpal tunnel get some Wrist Assured Gloves. These gloves can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome because of the gel pad’s V cut out. So you can do push-up and planks without any pressure on the median nerve!
Stay tuned to read all about what to do if you have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in a future post. For now let’s hope you can keep it at bay!