What to do if you have carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as a hand and arm condition which causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms. This condition is quite common, and luckily there are many ways you can tackle it effectively. In order to find out more about carpal tunnel syndrome and how to tackle it, keep reading this article.
Why our joints hurt?
Before we discuss different things you can do to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, we’re going to take a brief insight into joint pain or why they hurt. Generally, joint pain itself is experienced in one or more joints of the body. If the joint pain comes and goes it probably isn’t something alarming. However, persistent joint pain usually limits your mobility or prevents you from performing various tasks. In case, joint pain is persistent you should consult your healthcare provider.
Joints are complicated structure and include different parts:
- Blood vessels
Just like joints themselves, joint pain facts are also complex. For example, joint pain can occur due to a wide range of reasons such as natural wear and tear, suffering from infections or injuries, being under large stress, or in case of rheumatoid arthritis body’s immune system attacks cells and bone tissues.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of compression of the median nerve which runs from your forearm through a passageway in your wrist (carpal tunnel) to your hand. Generally, anything that irritates compresses or crowds the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, even wrist fractures.
In some cases, there is no specific cause for carpal tunnel syndrome as this condition can, sometimes, occur due to a combination of different factors. Although everyone can develop this condition, some people are more prone to it. For example:
- Women are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome than men
- Suffering from wrist fracture or dislocations
- Having chronic illnesses such as diabetes
- Having inflammatory conditions such as arthritis
- Experiencing alterations in the balance of bodily fluids etc.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is indicated by:
- Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand (but not in your little finger)
- Weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects.
Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome
Ideally, carpal tunnel syndrome should be treated as soon as you start experiencing symptoms of the condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment involves medications and surgery which is performed only when other treatments prove to be unsuccessful.
Your healthcare provider might also suggest wrist splinting which involves a splint that holds affected person’s wrists while he or she sleeps to relieve nighttime symptoms that would usually prevent a person from getting enough sleep. These splints can be found in drug stores or sports equipment stores as well. They are inexpensive and an excellent “tool” for all people who suffer from CTS.
Things you can do to tackle carpal tunnel syndrome effectively include:
- Take frequent breaks from repetitive activities to rest your hands
- Rotate your wrists frequently and stretch your palms and fingers
- Avoid sleeping on your hands in order to relieve numbness and pain in wrists and hands
- Take a pain reliever
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis – In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of some underlying medical cause such as rheumatoid arthritis. Standard joint pain treatments suggest a healthy diet, low impact exercises, and physical therapy.
- Avoid using affected hand or wrist for couple of weeks to perform some demanding or exhausting tasks
- Practice yoga – people who practice yoga show improvement in their wrist pain associated with CTS
- Take regular breaks at work
- Consider therapies such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, etc.
Carpal tunnel exercises
To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and relieve pain associated with this condition you can perform different exercises. For example:
- Start with palms together in front of your chest below the chin
- Start lowering your hands slowly towards waistline making sure your hands are close to stomach and palms still together until you feel mild and moderate stretch under forearms
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise for 2 to 4 times.
Wrist flexor stretch
- Extend arm in front of you with palm up
- Bend the wrist pointing your hand toward the ground
- With your other hand, bend your list gently until you feel mild to moderate stretch in the forearm
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise for 2 to 4 times with each hand.
Wrist extensor stretch
- Extend the arm in front of you with palm down
- Bend the wrist pointing toward the ground
- With your other hand, bend your first until you feel mild to moderate stretch in the forearm
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise for 2 to 4 times alternating arms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by irritation, compression or crowding of the median nerve. It results with numbness, tingling, and pain. Luckily, there are many things you can do relieve the pain including three useful exercises.