Whether it's drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, to driving to work, using a computer, to eating your dinner at night - we use our hands in almost everything we do. When your hands aren't working like they should, life gets uncomfortable and more difficult real quick.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when there's pressure being placed on a nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb's side of the hand. When you've got carpal tunnel, it can lead tingling, weakness, numbness, or muscle damage in your hand.
And just so you can be smarter than all your friends… the carpal tunnel itself is actually the area in your wrist where the never enters the hand.
You may find yourself being clumsy when holding items or have problems with coordination of your fingers. General weakness in the hands is often seen. It usually pops up in folks between 30 and 60, and it is more common in women than men.
CAUSES OF CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
- The keyboard isn't the sole cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, of course, but it is probably the most common.
- Repetition of movement
- Some musical instruments
- Using hand tools that vibrate
- Excessive writing
- Poor ergonomics (how you are positioned to perform a task)
There are some more conservative options to manage carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Wearing a brace or splint while performing an activity or at night.
- Physical therapy
- Changing your ergonomics - get a mousepad, raise your computer up
- Surgery is an option as well. If your doctor recommends surgery, it's normally a good idea to do it as soon as possible, as muscle atrophy can occur.
Full healing can take awhile, even after surgery. Usually a few months.
With as much as you do with your hands, you probably want them working like you want them to. Don't let life be uncomfortable when you can do something about it.
- Dr. Cordry