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Carpal tunnel syndrome

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of the hand and arm in which the patience experience tingling, numbness and other such symptoms. This is a problem which is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. There are several factors that can lead to carpal tunnel problem which include your wrist’s anatomy, patterns of handy use and underlying health conditions.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated well. After treatment, patients can get rid of the tingling and numbness and get the wrist and hand function back to normal.

Symptoms

The starting symptom of this problem is numbness or tingling which starts at the thumb, index and middle fingers. The experience is intermittent. You will also suffer from discomfort in the wrist and hands. The major symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include-

Tingling or numbness

You will experience tingling and numbness in the fingers or hand. This mostly happens in the thumb and index, middle or ring finger. However it does not happen in the little finger. When you hold something like a phone, steering wheel or newspaper, this happens. You may also experience the numbness when you wake up from sleep. The sensation may spread from the wrist to your arm. The numb feeling may stay constantly.

Weakness

You may also experience weakness in your hand. In that case, you may drop objects. It happens because of the numbness or weakness of the pinching muscles of the thumb.

Causes

This medical problem arises due to compression of the median nerve. The median nerves extend from your forearm to your hand through a passageway present in the wrist which is known as carpal tunnel. It is necessary for providing sensation to the palm side of the fingers and thumb. The same nerve also carries signals to move the muscles at the base of your thumb.

If anyhow the median nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel, it will result in the carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture or swelling and inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis can cause such problems if the nerve is compressed. In most of the cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, a single cause cannot be identified. It may be a result of combinations of different risk factors.

Risk factors

There are several factors that can be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. These factors do not cause carpal tunnel syndrome by themselves but they can increase the possibility of damage to the median nerve. Such risk factors include-

Anatomic factors

This location or fracture of the wrist that changes the space present in the carpal tunnel can cause pressure on the median nerve. People who have smaller carpal tunnels are more likely to suffer from this syndrome.

Sex

This is a problem which is more common in women. It may be due to the fact that the carpal tunnel area in case of women is relatively smaller in comparison to men. It may also be true that women who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome may also have smaller carpal tunnels in comparison to women who do not suffer from this problem.

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