What Is Carpal Tunnel? Symptoms & Treatments | Bare Health
CARPAL TUNNEL2021-02-17T16:02:33+00:00

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Carpal Tunnel

Looking for a helpful guide to Carpal Tunnel? You’re in the right place! We’ve assembled this succinct and straight-forward guide to Carpal Tunnel packed with helpful information answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this health condition.

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A GUIDE TO

CARPAL TUNNEL

Numbness in your hands? Pain and tingling in your arms, fingers or neck? These can all be signs of carpal tunnel. Fortunately, if you catch on to it quick enough and change some lifestyle habits carpal tunnel can be alleviated. This guide aim to help treat carpal tunnel before it becomes irreversible.

  • What Is Carpal Tunnel?

  • What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

  • What Are Common Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel?

  • How Do You Treat Carpal Tunnel?

  • What Medications Help Carpal Tunnel?

  • Do I Need To See A Doctor?

  • Can Carpal Tunnel Be Cured?

  • Can You Treat Carpal Tunnel By Yourself?

WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL?

Many of us have heard of carpal tunnel, especially if you, or someone you know, works with your hands. Although it is a fairly common issue that we deal with these days, you may not know exactly what it is. The carpal tunnel is a pathway found in the wrist that is surrounded by bones and connective tissue, nerves and muscles that connect and move the hand, run through this pathway. The median nerve is responsible for the feeling and movement of your thumb, pointer, middle and ring finger, in fact the only finger not connected to this nerve is your pinky.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is an issue that occurs when excess pressure is placed on the median nerve found in the carpal tunnel inside the wrist. If one is feeling the effects of carpal tunnel it’s not good to ignore it and get help if possible, or do some research so you can start treatment as early as possible. It can be very painful and even affect the function and strength of your hands, leading to a decreased range of motion and inability to perform tasks that were relatively easy to do in the past. Since much of what we do in our daily lives involves the use of our hands, it can be tricky to pinpoint what is causing this syndrome. An issue like carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to a poor quality of life and may not go away without proper intervention.

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What Is Carpal Tunnel
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WHAT CAUSES CARPAL TUNNEL?

As described earlier, the root cause of the issue comes from excess pressure being placed on the median nerve. But what causes this excess pressure? The most common cause is actually brought on by repetitive motion: the constant use of our hands in patterns without alteration. This is unfortunate considering how many professions require us to use our hands these days, many of us spend a considerable amount of time writing either with a pen and pencil or on a computer; other professions greatly affected include gardeners, artists, massage therapists, and hairdressers. Hours of completing the same tasks, moving fingers, hands and wrists in similar fashion without enough breaks can lead to serious compression of that nerve.

Medical conditions such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypothyroidism, breaking or fracturing your wrist, and even obesity may also leave you more vulnerable to carpal tunnel syndrome. Lastly, being female increases the likelihood of experiencing it. Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome throughout their life. This is theorized to be due to the fact that, on average, the female wrist is smaller in diameter, meaning the odds of compression are far greater. Also pregnancy seems to be a time when it is developed, due to the fluid retention and swelling that can occur.

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WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF CARPAL TUNNEL?

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, or “shocks” running through your hands (specifically the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger), wrists, and even up your arm all the way up to your shoulder. One may notice that they wake up feeling some of the previous sensations as they seem to be exacerbated while laying down, and may even get to the point where they are the reason you wake up throughout the night, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another time you may notice these sensations is during times when your hand is in a flexed position such as: driving, doing dishes, typing, or while using your phone.

As if the pain isn’t enough, you may also notice that you begin to develop a weakness in your grip, making it hard or even impossible to pick up things that were once easy. It’s not uncommon for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome to suddenly and unexpectedly drop objects. This weakness can develop to the point where you actually may not be able to fully close your hand or make a fist anymore, and it can be at its worst in the morning. This loss in strength and range of motion is not something most people think about when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, but it plays a big role in affecting quality of life. If the issue isn’t addressed, these symptoms can last a long time or get worse over time.

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What Are Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel?
How Do You Treat Carpal Tunnel

HOW DO YOU TREAT CARPAL TUNNEL?

In order to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, some lifestyle changes may need to be set in place. For instance, if your symptoms were induced by repetitive motion, you may need to take more breaks. During these breaks it may be advised for you to do some exercises and/or stretches to counteract the movements of your job or hobby, effectively breaking the pattern and relieving the pressure brought on by repetitive motion. This where a postural analysis can examine what type of therapeutic stretches and exercises are necessary to relieve carpal tunnel pain. Exercising regularly can strengthen hands, too. Lastly, for physical interventions you may be recommended to wear some form of splint or brace to immobilize your hand, normally at night while you sleep to help prevent yourself from waking up with tingling, or numb fingers.

The doctor may also recommend some form of anti-inflammatory drug, whether it be prescription grade or an over the counter NSAID (non steroidal anti inflammatory drug). If you are of the mindset against such drugs, a dietary intervention may be another avenue you choose to look at. Staying away from or limiting foods known to cause inflammation like meat, dairy, processed sugars, and alcohol can go a long way. It would go even further adding foods to combat inflammation such as turmeric, fruit, and leafy greens could help you. As a last resort, if all the previous interventions fail you may be recommended to undergo surgery in order to fix your problem.

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Explore Recent Blog Posts

Want to know more about Carpal Tunnel? Discover some of our recent blog posts discussing this health condition and learn more.

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