An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Repetitive stress injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a disorder that causes pain and weakness in the hand and wrist.
- In general, carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the tissues around the median nerve of the hand swell and press on the nerve.
- Some research suggests that this swelling is caused by a buildup of fluid (called synovial fluid) under the lining.
- Anyone with recurrent or persistent pain, numbness and tingling, or weakness of the hand should consult a doctor for an evaluation.
- Early in the disorder, the process is reversible. Over time, however, permanent nerve damage may develop.
- It is often very difficult to determine the precise cause of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Although some studies have suggested that over half of CTS cases are associated with workplace factors, most studies now indicate that CTS is primarily associated with medical or physical conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Many studies show that women have a significantly higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
- Older people are at higher risk than younger adults.
- It is important to begin treating early carpal tunnel syndrome before the damage progresses.
- A conservative approach to CTS, which may include corticosteroid injections and splinting, is the first step in treating this disorder.
- Surgery is usually an effective treatment choice for people with the more advanced signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome who fail conservative treatment.