Did you know carpal tunnel syndrome has become the second most common type of work-related injury? This condition is caused by repetitive motions, such as typing on a computer keyboard, and can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and fingers. East Brunswick carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway at the base of your hand, surrounded by wrist bones and ligaments.
Your doctor may order tests such as:
- Electromyography (EMG): This test measures the electrical activity of your muscles. These electrical activities can help your doctor detect any nerve damage.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test can also be used to look for nerve and tissue damage signs.
- Nerve conduction studies: These tests measure the speed at which signals travel through your nerves.
These tests help the doctor diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and rule out other conditions.
The risk factors
Risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include medical conditions such as diabetes or arthritis, certain medications, and activities that require repetitive motion of the wrist or fingers. You may also be at risk if you are pregnant, menopausal, obese, or have an anatomical abnormality in your wrist that puts pressure on the median nerve.
Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers. You may also experience weak grip strength or swelling in your hand, even though there is no visible swelling. The symptoms can worsen at night and when you use your hands for repetitive tasks.
Below is a detailed explanation of the treatment options available for carpal tunnel syndrome:
When you experience mild symptoms, your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatments such as wearing a wrist brace to reduce pressure on the median nerve, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and applying cold or heat therapy to reduce inflammation.
If the condition does not improve with non-surgical treatments, your doctor may suggest surgery. The type of surgery that may be recommended is called carpal tunnel release. This procedure can help reduce pressure on the median nerve and improve symptoms. The procedure entails cutting the ligament that is pressing on the nerve.
Physical therapy may be recommended to help strengthen the muscles and improve the range of motion in your wrist. Your physical therapist may also recommend exercises that can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve function. Some of the exercises your physical therapist might suggest include stretching, strengthening, and range-of-motion exercises.
Below are some of the preventative measures:
- Take frequent breaks: It is advisable to take regular breaks when performing any activity involving repetitive wrist or hand motions. This will help reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Improve your posture: Maintaining a good posture while working can help reduce tension in your wrists, arms, and hands. Keep your elbows close to your body and your wrists in a neutral position.
- Exercising regularly can help strengthen the muscles in your hands, wrists, and forearms. It is also wise to stretch before and after any exercise involving gripping or holding objects for prolonged periods.
It is recommended to talk to your doctor at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates, LLP if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.