Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes and treatment
What is carpal tunnel syndrome? Specifically, it occurs when the median nerve is literally trapped inside the carpal tunnel, being the most common cause of tingling and numbness of the upper extremities, as this nerve is responsible for giving sensitivity to the palm and index finger, thumb and middle finger. It is more common in women and usually appears after 40. But, what are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome? What’s the best treatment? Let’s look more closely behind this problem.
The most common cause of carpal tunnel is the overuse of the wrist by a repetitive activity, such as the use of the computer or certain hand tools. Other factors which may also cause carpal tunnel syndrome are inflammatory arthritis, gout, a poorly consolidated fracture, obesity, cysts or lymphomas that can grow in the wrist. During the stage of pregnancy may also appear due to fluid retention.
Pain and tingling in the palm of the hand and the index, middle finger and thumb – and which may extend to the elbow or forearm are the more common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Generally discomforts are more intense at night and can also cause weakness in the muscles of the hand and difficulties to move thumb.
Diagnosis is made through a test with electromyography (EMG), which detects the sensory and motor nerve conduction. Around 30% of cases, according to medical data, usually subside after six months without treatment. In cases caused by rheumatoid arthritis, gout or diabetes, the condition generally resolved to properly treat these health problems.
In mild cases it is recommended to use a splint at night (hand and forearm) to ensure a better rest. In cases of severe pain, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory in a timely manner, topical steroids or perform infiltrations.
The surgical treatment is very effective in the cases in which the symptoms and inconveniences persist despite the applied therapies. It is also advisable when symptoms are more severe stories and last for more than one year.