Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

You’re working at your desk, trying to ignore the tingling and numbness you’ve had for some time in your hand and wrist.

Suddenly, a sharp, piercing pain shoots through the wrist and up your arm. Just a passing cramp? More likely you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

The culprit? Inflammation affecting tissue and a nerve that runs from your forearm to fingers through a tunnel-like formation of bones in the wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed.

Symptoms:

Usually start gradually
As they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult

What causes the problem?

Some people have smaller carpal tunnels than other people do.

Other causes:

Performing repetitive work
Wrist injury
Swelling due to certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
Women are three times more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men.

Treatment:

Rest your hand
Splints
Pain and anti-inflammatory medicines
Surgery
Make sure your desk and computer aren’t making you feel bad. Learn about ergonomics.

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