Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disease that occurs in the wrist and it is affecting more and more individuals each year. As a result of unwarranted pressure occurring on the median nerve, a nerve located in the wrist and responsible for much of the functioning of the hand, the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel may appear.
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Symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel are mild to severe pain in the joints, fingers, hands and/or arms, unexplained numbness and tingling, and in some cases, difficulty using the hands or arms due to weakness brought on by the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The reasons or causes of CTS vary. Sometimes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome arises because the individual in question possesses another condition that was the cause of its onset, while other individuals may have engaged in actions that brought about the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Still other individuals may get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and may never really know the reasons why. The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include, but are in no way limited to:
Aging–natural aging can result in the weakening of the tissues within one's wrist as well as the bones. With repeated and constant use, an issue with Carpal tunnel may develop over time as pressure increases on the median nerve.
Diabetes–Diabetes is a disease that is well known for creating nerve compression, especially in the feet, but it can also cause nerve compression in the hands as well. When a person with Diabetes winds up with a compressed median nerve, the result is the formation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Ganglion cysts–cysts can form inside of the wrist and directly place pressure on the median nerve and the surrounding area–the result? You guessed it–Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tumors also produce the same affect when they are located in an individual's wrist and can prove to be the cause behind the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Gout–gout is a disease that can affect the joints and nerves of the people affected by it. As a result, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sometimes becomes a secondary condition for the patient with gout.
Improperly healed injuries–former injuries to the wrist area that may have healed incorrectly can also bring on a case of CTS.
Lupus–Lupus is a tricky disease as it often mimics the symptoms of other diseases. Joint pain can be a result and a person may actually have Carpal Tunnel when they have Lupus, or they may simply exhibit the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and not really have it at all. Rheumatoid arthritis is another joint condition that produces similar results.
Repetitive motion injuries–this is one of the biggest reasons for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Many jobs require employees to make repeated motions with their hands and even if the motion seems harmless, like typing and excessive keyboarding, they can result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated with a number of non-invasive techniques and if such techniques fail, then surgery can be contemplated. The pain that is associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is typically managed with pain medications, chiropractic visits, and physical therapy. In extreme cases, when surgery is needed, the surgery focuses on removing the pressure from the median nerve in the wrist by making the tunnel that holds the median nerve wider. Unfortunately, surgical procedures that address the issue of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can result in permanent scarring on the wrists.
Ultimately, the effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be extremely painful. In fact, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be so painful it creates a grave disability for the individual that has it. Never the less, there are a few things people can do to fight Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and its onset. Preemptive measures against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
Maintaining overall body health–when an individual is completely healthy, the risk of getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is lowered. Although some conditions are unavoidable, conditions like obesity can be avoided and can reduce the risks associated with getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Stay away from bad habits–Smoking is also associated with the onset of Carpal Tunnel–smoking restricts nerves and may cause them to swell. The swelling in the median nerve then results in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Therefore refraining from such habits is an effective measure in preventing the onset of Carpal Tunnel.
Using ergonomically designed equipment–when involved in jobs that involve repetitive motion, it becomes necessary to use special equipment that can help prevent the onset of carpal tunnel. Specially designed keyboards, mice, wrist pads, and wrist stints can actually help prevent the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive motion related injuries. Finally, taking frequent breaks from jobs that require repetitive motion can also keep Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at bay.