Do you often feel a tingling sensation that is accompanied by pins and needles on your hand? Does the pain feel more intense at night and it is specifically located along the base of your palm? If you do, it is possible that you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. It can involve nerve injuries and can become a chronic disabling condition later on unless you know how to properly treat and manage it today.
The Carpal Tunnel Overview
Along the wrist is a passageway called the carpal tunnel which is surrounded by the small bones that form along the wrist area just underneath the so-called tunnel and by the ligaments on the top that cross the tunnel to reach the hands and fingers. The median nerve also passes through this tunnel along with some tendons in order to provide some sensation to the thumb area, the forefinger, middle finger and includes just half of the ring finger. When injury on the wrist takes place, it may cause the tendons passing through it to inflame. Along the process, the thickened area caused by the inflammatory response to injury may impinge the median nerve with the resulting symptoms of a carpal tunnel syndrome.
The symptoms of a carpal tunnel syndrome
The most apparent signs of a carpal tunnel syndrome are the feeling of pins and needles, numbness, pain on the wrist and hand which is worse at night, weakness of the hand and a pain radiating to the arm and shoulder. The finger and half of the ring finger are spared from these symptoms because the median nerve affected is not connected to them. Without the proper treatment, it can become a disabling condition where the person will be unable to use the affected hand more comfortably. The affected hand may also become weak thus causing the person to lose grip and difficulty in carrying out tasks using the hand.
Proper management of a carpal tunnel syndrome
The common risk factors for the condition are trauma to the wrist or hand, fracture, swelling or inflammation of the tendons or articulating structures along the wrist area. These conditions can cause pressure to the median nerve with the resulting symptoms of a carpal tunnel syndrome. To prevent further injury to the nerve, at the early stage of a trauma to the hand immediately apply an ice or cold compress to prevent the swelling. It is also best to see a doctor if you suspect a hand fracture as this could cause further nerve injury once left untreated. First aid training will help you understand the best way how to prevent further injury to the wrist, reduce swelling and how to apply a splint temporarily in the event of a wrist fracture until you see a doctor.
Better Health Channel. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Accessed on June 4, 2014 from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome
WebMD. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Treatment Overview. Accessed on June 4, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-treatment-overview