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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Overview

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition of the hands where the median nerve of the palm gets compressed at the wrist. This leads to paresthesias and numbness and ultimately muscle weakness of the hands. The patient suffers from night symptoms. There are wrist splints especially at the night time. Women are more prone to this disease due to the slimmer zone of the wrists. Diabetes mellitus patients and patients with metabolic disorders are also highly prone to this disease. This disease is mostly found in manufacturing, cleaning, sewing, packaging industry etc.


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Causes

Most of the time, the cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are idiopathic in nature. The carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by trauma, multiple myeloma, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, amyloidosis, acromegaly, mucopolysaccharidosis and hypothyroidism. This disease is transferred genetically most of the time. Obesity is an important cause of this disease. Diabetes mellitus and neoplasm are the other two important causes of this disease. Sprains and fractures are also caused in this disease. Other factors such as overactivity of pituitary gland, mechanical problems in wrist joints, repetitive use of vibrating hand tools, cysts or tumor in canal also causes this disease.


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Signs & Symptoms

The patient may suffer from the following symptoms such as:-

  • The patient may complain of pins and needles.
  • There may be loss of sensation of three fingers such as thumbs, forefinger, middle finger and part of your ring finger.
  • The patient may complain of tingling, itching and frequent burning in the palm of hands and fingers.
  • There may be swelling and loss of function of the fingers.
  • There may be loss of sleep due to the tingling and numbness of the hands of the hands at night.
  • There may be decreased gripping strength which may make it difficult to perform other manual tasks.
  • At extreme cases there may be complete loss of sensation.
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Prevention

The carpal tunnel syndrome is not preventable. Though, some say that it is preventable by developing healthy habits such as repetitive stress, taking proper breaks. Certain passive treatment such as turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and B vitamins can also be considered as preventive measures of this disease.


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Treatments
Physical therapy Modern Medicine

The treatments may vary according to the condition of the patient. These treatments include splinting or bracing, activity modification, steroid injection, medications, etc. the other treatment of choices are physical or occupational therapy, and surgical release of transverse carpal ligament. The wrist should be given rest for 2 weeks. Aspirin, ibuprofen, prednisone, lidocaine are the drug of choices. The cool (ice) packs are also treatments of choices.  

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