Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has gained popularity with the rise in computer use. In this condition, a wrist nerve is compressed leading to symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition affecting the wrist, hands and fingers. It occurs when a nerve inside the wrist is compressed during an activity, such as typing on a computer. Repeating the offending activity can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The wrist has a tunnel running through, which is called the "Carpal Tunnel." The tunnel is made by the bones and ligaments of the wrist. A nerve and artery lie inside the tunnel. It is pressure on this nerve that causes the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The classic symptoms are numbness, tingling and pain in the hands and fingers. Sometimes, the symptoms get stronger at night during sleep. This is because the hands may lie above the head, or in a twisted position. The numbness and tingling occurs, which interrupts sleep.

How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosed?

Physicians will make note of the classic symptoms of numbness, tingling and pain in the hands. They will ask what activities seem to prompt the symptoms. Also, nerve tests can be done to assess the nerve damage.

Is the nerve damage permanent?

No. Fortunately, peripheral nerves (those outside of the brain and spinal cord) regenerate themselves. With proper treatment, the symptoms can be relieved.

What is the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

It is important to look at what caused Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and remove or alter that activity. For example, you can modify your work space with special keyboards, or even a chair adjustment which will place your wrists at a more suitable angle when typing.

Sometimes splints are recommended to prevent the nerve from being pressed. If nighttime is a problem, a sleep splint may be prescribed.

In some cases, surgery may be the only cure. The surgery is done to the ligament on an outpatient basis. The results have been very good, and are generally noticed within a few days of the procedure.

Who gets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

People who spend a lot of time at the computer are likely candidates for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is because their wrists are flexed at the same angle for extended periods of time. Women are more likely than men to suffer the disease, and are especially vulnerable during pregnancy and in the post-menopausal time. Anyone with a disease that impacts the nerves, such as diabetes, faces a higher likelihood of having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Can a person's weight cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Being overweight can put more pressure on the nerve, so in that sense weight can be a factor.

What should a person do if he or she thinks Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is present?

It is best to see your doctor and explain the symptoms. He or she will determine if the condition is present, and will recommend appropriate treatments.

How does a person find a doctor who treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Start by asking your family doctor if he or she can make a recommendation. Other avenues to check are the local medical society or physician referral services.

© High Speed Ventures 2011