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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Options

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 11:33:04-04

Pain, stiffness, and discomfort in the wrists can be debilitating and a cause for concern. Many times, serious wrist conditions are the result of underlying health conditions combined with repetitive hand and wrist movement. However, with appropriate treatment, these wrist conditions can be managed.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? 
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by the compression of the median nerve in your wrist. This nerve and several tendons run through a small space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. When the median nerve becomes compressed, you can experience a variety of symptoms that can become quite bothersome.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pain
  • Hand weakness
  • Night time hand pain and numbness

These symptoms are most commonly experienced in the fingers and hand; however, some people feel pain in the arm and elbow.

Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Anatomy of the wrist
  • Illnesses such as gout, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Repetitive hand and wrist movement
  • Normal wear and tear

Treatment Options
In mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, at-home care can usually treat your symptoms. Surgery is a treatment option, but is only used when symptoms are severe, prohibit you from performing everyday tasks and other non surgical treatments have not improved symptoms.

  • Rest wrist between activity
  • Avoid activities that cause symptoms
  • Ice the area
  • NSAID medication
  • Wear a wrist splint
  • Physical therapy