What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Do you ever wake up with a tingling sensation and numbness in your thumbs and fingers? Have you been experiencing any pain in the wrists or hands? Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common wrist conditions that affect around a third of the population at some point in their lives and is best to catch early. Find out what is really bothering you with our quick guide that will help you get acquainted with the syndrome and find the right solution for your problem.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition in which the median nerve is squeezed where it passes through the wrist, which may lead to pain, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and middle finger.

Pain in the hand from carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is the passageway in the hand, made up of eight wrist bones and the ligament. CTS occurs when the median nerve, which passes right through that tightly-spaced tunnel, becomes pinched, most often by swelling of the tendons or fluid collection.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The symptoms usually begin gradually and are worse during the night. One of the first signs that people suffering from CTS notice is waking up with numbness and tingling in their fingers and hands. 

The most common symptoms include:

  • Tingling or burning sensation in the fingers
  • Pain in the wrists or hands
  • Loss of grip strength and thumb weakness
  • Loss of manual dexterity
  • Dry skin and swelling
  • Muscle atrophy at the thumb base

Who is Most at Risk?

While the main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is still unknown, we know that women, as well as middle-aged and elderly people are more often affected by it. Other common conditions that may increase your chances of developing CTS include:

  • Pregnancy (especially common in the third trimester)
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes)
  • Trauma or fracture of the wrist

Certain physical activities are also known to lead to CTS:

  • Playing an instrument
  • Working on the computer
  • Construction work
  • Assembly packing
  • Working with vibrating power tools
  • Playing video games

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated either with surgery or by wearing a wrist splint. While surgery may be needed if there is severe compression of the median nerve or if the pain does not improve with any other treatment, most cases can, fortunately, be easily treated by wearing a wrist splint.

This is also the non-invasive treatment recommended by most health professionals. For best results you should wear a brace during the night as well as during the day, especially during those activities that may put additional stress on the wrist.

Choosing the Right Wrist Brace

Resting splints are perfect if your symptoms are worse during the night, while working splints are the right choice when your symptoms are brought on by particular activities. At WristSupports.co.uk we have a broad range of all types of wrist braces designed to aid you in your recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Pick the right wrist brace for your condition from our selection of wrist supports for carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

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