When a wrist condition like carpal tunnel syndrome prevents you from doing the activities you love, it’s time to find effective treatment from the experts. TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine have assembled a team of national-renowned hand surgeons and physical therapists who can deliver advanced treatment to get your life back on track.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, although painful, condition caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Also called median nerve compression, this syndrome occurs when the nerve running through the wrist and palm is pinched by a thickened ligament.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes
Carpal tunnel syndrome is directly caused by pressure on the median nerve. However, there are a variety of conditions that can increase risk for nerve compression. Some of the most common causes include:
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Wrist fractures
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
In addition to general wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome often produces the following symptoms:
- Burning or tingling sensation in the palm of the hand or fingers
- Inability to grip small objects
- Pins-and-needles sensation that travels from the hand up the arm
- Stiffness in the hand and fingers, especially first thing in the morning
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers or hand muscles
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment
Wrist pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome can often be relieved with a combination of conservative treatments, though surgery is an option for severe cases. Carpal tunnel treatment options include:
- Medication—Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve inflammation and take some pressure of the pinched wrist nerve.
- Pain relief injections—Corticosteroid injections can help relieve nerve pain in the wrist by reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Splinting—¬¬A splint can keep the wrist in a neutral position and relieve nerve compressio-n. Many people wear splints at night when the wrist is most likely to bend.
- Stretching—Wrist stretches, in conjunction with other conservative treatments, may help relieve carpal tunnel nerve pain and strengthen wrist muscles.
- Surgery—Also referred to as carpal tunnel release surgery, this procedure cuts the ligament pressing on the median nerve to relieve pressure.
Carpal tunnel syndrome risk factors
Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common risk factors include:
- Certain diseases—Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease and other health conditions that cause inflammation or nerve damage can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Gender —Women are more likely than men to develop wrist pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome, most likely because the carpal tunnels in women are narrower.
- Injuries—Wrist fractures, sprains or dislocations can cause inflammation or anatomical abnormalities in the wrist that can exert pressure on the median nerve.
- Obesity—A high body mass index can put increased pressure on the wrist due to increased blood pressure, fluid retention and inflammation.
- Overuse—Jobs that require constant bending of the wrist, such as typing or working with certain tools, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome prevention
The best way to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to take care of your wrist and reduce joint stress by:
- Making ergonomic adjustments to your workspace (keyboard, mouse and chair height)
- Practicing good posture while sitting
- Stretching your wrists frequently
- Taking breaks when typing or working with tools
- Wearing a splint while sleeping if you experience wrist stiffness upon waking
Make an appointment
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause symptoms that are similar to other wrist conditions such as osteoarthritis or tendonitis. Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward successful treatment. Get connected with a specialist who can evaluate your condition create a customized treatment plan. To learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 961 HAND or 513 961 4263.