Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition. It affects the wrists and hands and it happens when tissues inside the tunnel which surrounds your wrist bone, becomes inflamed and impacts on the median nerve.
The median nerve is the nerve which gives feeling to your thumbs and main fingers and when the tissues inside the tunnel become inflamed or swollen they end up pressing on the nerve, causing the pain and other signs and symptoms of the condition.
It is commonly experienced by people who engage in very repetitive movements regularly, for example, using computers, check-out staff or people who work on assembly lines. It is also experienced by musicians and carpenters.
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The condition causes various symptoms, many of which could be similar to other medical conditions so it should always be diagnosed by a doctor for certainty. Here are some of the common symptoms:
- Numbness in the fingers
- Tingling in the fingers
- A worsening of the pain or numbness at night time
- A tingling or burning sensation in thumb and fingers
- Pain that goes from your hand up your arm as far as your elbow
- Weak hands
- Difficulty gripping, closing your fist or holding small items
How do you treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The most common medical treatments given for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include anti-inflammatory steroids, splints to support the wrist, and even surgery. However there are other options which you can consider to alleviate the symptoms and help the condition, including massage, sports therapy and acupuncture.
Massage therapy can help relieve the symptoms by breaking down any adhesions or scars within the muscles of the wrist, bringing it back to complete flexibility. Massaging the tendons and ligaments can also relieve the pressure on the median nerve, which is what causes the problems.
Massage won’t make your symptoms disappear overnight, but continued treatment can help to improve significantly and a therapist can teach you how to do preventative stretches of your hands and forearms to keep the symptoms away.
Acupuncture is often used to promote well-being and it can be used as a treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as an alternative to the more traditional treatments, or perhaps to support them.
Research has shown that acupuncture can help patients to manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a number of different ways, and there are many published papers on these areas available as evidence.
Generally, it can work on the areas of the brain which help to reduce sensitivity to pain and promote relaxation, helping the patient to feel better and less stressed. It has an impact on the signals of pain being sent from the hands to the brain, so can relieve the symptoms that way, to help manage the condition.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome always needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional as it can resemble a number of other similar conditions, so needs to be properly assessed and diagnosed.
There are traditional treatments available, including steroid treatment, surgery and support splints, all of which have varied results.
If you want to look for alternative options, then massage therapy can help to alleviate the symptoms by working directly with the affected arms and hands, releasing the pressure which causes the problems.
A massage therapist can also recommend movements to carry out to prevent the problem occurring again in the future, so provides a really good and practical way to handle the symptoms.
Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms in a different way, by affecting the way the brain handles the pain signals, relieving some of the anxiety and stress that comes from suffering from the symptoms constantly.
All of these treatments can help to ease the symptoms and make living with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that much more bearable.
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