Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Have you ever experienced some tingling or numbness in your hand and fingers? If so, you might be familiar with the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS can significantly impact one’s life. The pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers can limit the ability to perform daily tasks. If you’re showing signs of CTS, it’s important to seek early intervention and appropriate treatment to alleviate pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects many individuals, causing discomfort and pain in the hand and wrist. At Regen Doctors, we help many patients alleviate pain caused by CTS. This condition occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There can be many reasons why someone develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but it is often associated with certain risk factors. One of the primary factors is repetitive hand movements, such as typing or using vibrating tools, which can put a strain on the wrist and contribute to the development of CTS.
Certain occupations carry a higher risk of developing CTS due to repetitive hand movements and prolonged wrist strain. Jobs such as office work, assembly line work, construction, musicianship, hairstyling, cashiering, painting, mechanics, and healthcare professions are commonly associated with an increased risk of CTS.
Other factors include certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal changes during pregnancy, wrist fractures, and even genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tingling or “pins and needles” sensation in the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger.
- Numbness in the hand or fingers, often accompanied by a loss of sensation.
- Pain or aching in the hand, wrist, or forearm.
- Weakness in the hand, making it difficult to grip objects or perform everyday tasks.
- Hand or finger clumsiness, leading to a tendency to drop objects.
- Worsening symptoms at night, often interrupting sleep.
- Radiating pain or discomfort that can extend from the wrist up to the arm or shoulder.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated and doesn’t usually come back once it’s resolved. The key is to treat CTS as early as possible. In general, these are the at-home carpal tunnel syndrome treatments that can help:
- Minimize activities that involve repetitive use and strain on your hands and wrists.
- Use a splint to keep your wrist in a neutral position, as it can help alleviate symptoms.
- Avoid prolonged extension and flexion of your wrists
- Stretch your hands, wrists, and arms regularly to maintain flexibility and reduce tension.
- Use ergonomic office tools and equipment to prevent irritation and provide better support to your wrists.
If at-home treatments fail to relieve your symptoms, it’s important to consult your pain doctor at Regen Doctors for further options. Dr. Levinstein may recommend interventional treatments such as deep, pulsed ultrasound to reduce pain and facilitate soft tissue healing.
Additionally, steroids can be used orally or injected into the carpal tunnel to alleviate inflammation and compression when conservative treatments prove ineffective. Your doctor will be able to guide you on the most suitable approach based on your specific condition.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
If conservative or minimally-invasive therapies fail to improve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms within six months, surgical decompression of the median nerve is the recommended treatment for moderate to severe cases.
Surgery can be performed through an open incision or endoscopically. An open release provides better visibility but takes longer to heal, while an endoscopic release involves smaller incisions and may result in less scarring and post-operative pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery has a good prognosis, although a minority of patients, especially those with advanced cases, may not experience improvement. It’s important to note that scarring post-surgery can potentially lead to symptom recurrence in the future.
However, our pain doctors at Regen Doctors only perform surgery as a last resort. Prevention through wrist and hand protection from repetitive motion injury remains the most effective approach to managing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Regain Control of Your Hands.
Imagine what it would be like to live without pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. No suffering. Just the freedom to do what you do best. If you’re looking for carpal tunnel relief in Pennsylvania, contact Regen Doctors to schedule a consultation.
We have clinics in Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We serve patients all over Center Valley, Lansdale, Easton, Pottstown, Phillipsburg, and the Maryland area, including Westminster, Leesburg, and Green Valley.