You may have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but do you know what causes it? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not caused just from repetitive motions like typing, though these actions do contribute to the pain associated with the condition.
Carpal tunnel is actually caused when the synovium (tissues surrounding tendons in the wrist) swells and puts pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. All this occurs in the carpal tunnel region of the body, hence the syndrome’s name.
Some factors that may contribute to developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Heredity – if members of your family experienced carpal tunnel syndrome, this may increase your chances of facing the same condition
- Hormonal changes – these changes can occur during pregnancy and cause carpal tunnel syndrome
- Age – the older a person is, the more likely they are to experience carpal tunnel syndrome
- Medical conditions – diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are just a few of the diseases that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome
Your doctor may perform a series of tests to diagnose you with carpal tunnel syndrome. In some cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated or relieved without surgery, by using a brace or splint, taking medications, changing activities/behavior or receiving steroid injections.
Surgical measures may be taken if no relief is seen from the nonsurgical options. For the most part, the procedure is outpatient with local anesthesia. Some pain and swelling are common after the surgery, and complete recovery may take up to a year.
Physical therapy may be recommended to assist in regaining grip and pinch strength.
If you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, visit http://www.neorthohospital.com to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.