Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the result of swelling in the lubricating membrane (synovium) of the wrist; reducing the space, or tunnel, where the nerve travels from the forearm into the hand. When this tunnel swells, the resulting pressure can cause irritation and pain in the nerves of the wrist.
The condition can range from mild to severe with possible symptoms including numbness, weakness, pain, or loss of control of the fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often a repetitive strain injury resulting from performing the same motion(s) over and over in factory work. It can also be the result of conditions ranging from hormonal changes to sugar diabetes to arthritis.
Preventative measures such as good posture, frequent breaks from repetitive motion, massaging and stretching your hands and arms to improve circulation reduce the risk of injury.
Non-surgical treatmentin mild cases include rest, wrist splints, heat to relieve pain and/or cold to reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID’s) or corticosteroid injections into the tunnel may also be prescribed.
Persistent symptoms and advanced cases may require surgery. Cutting the ligament on the top of the carpal tunnel reduces pressure on the nerve.