Orthopedic Associates' Blog

rss

Orthopedic Associates' Blog


What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?
What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?

By: Dr. Bell

If you drive a desk for your job, you may know what it’s like to live with the pain of carpal tunnel. Even though many people are familiar with carpal tunnel, a lot of people are not quite sure exactly what causes carpal tunnel and what can be done to alleviate it. Let’s examine what causes carpal tunnel and what treatment options are available.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is quite literally a tunnel that runs from your forearm to your hand. (NCBI) Inside the tunnel are your median nerve and nine tendons. The median nerve provides sensation for the front of your thumb, index, middle finger and parts of your ring finger. It also controls small muscles where your thumb connects to your palm.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a problem leads to pressure on the median nerve. (NCBI) This is why many patients with carpal tunnel experience pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected muscles. Some may also experience pain in their forearm between their hand and elbow.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Carpal Tunnel?

There are a plethora of treatment options available to ease or eliminate pain from carpal tunnels syndrome.

Nonsurgical Options

  • You can wear a splint at night to keep your wrist and hand in proper alignment.

  • Lifestyle changes can be helpful as well. Structure your day to avoid doing activities that put you in problematic or uncomfortable positions. If those activities cannot be eliminated, it may be a good idea to minimize the amount of time you spend engaging in those activities. Take frequent breaks when you have engaging in those activities.

  • In some situations, over-the-counter drugs can help remedy the pain and swelling. Ibuprofen and aspirin may give you short-term relief, but unfortunately, they mask the cause.

  • Steroids or lidocaine may be injected into the wrist. These treatments are ideal for people who have intermittent discomfort or mild carpal tunnel.

Surgical Options

The most common surgical procedure to treat carpal tunnel is what is known as a carpal tunnel release. In this procedure a ligament that runs around the wrist is cut. Cutting this ligament helps relieve pressure on the median nerve. Believe it or not, the ligament does not stay completely severed. After the surgery the ligament will most likely grow back together. However, when the ligament does become reconnected, there is typically more space in the area than before surgery.

Surgery of this type typically involves local anesthesia. No hospital stay is required. Although, the pain of carpal tunnel is often relieved immediately after the surgery, a full recovery can take months. Many people find they need to adjust their lifestyle or job activities after carpal tunnel surgery.

Don't Choose to Suffer from Carpal Tunnel

Although, carpal tunnel is not life-threatening, it can certainly be painful, unpleasant, and keep you from enjoying life the way you desire. Don't greet your teeth and suffer through it. Our team at Orthopedic Associates is here to help. Reach out and we can help you find the right treatment option. Schedule your next appointment with Orthopedic Associates today.


 




Comments are closed.
Showing 1 Comment
Avatar  assignment help 7 months ago

It would depend on the problem you're having. Some hospitals are better for spine, others for foot/ankle, etc. If you're having some sort of a rare condition, any teaching hospital would love to help you. Also, try to contact the Red Cross - they might be able to help you find care in the US.