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A Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is pressure on a nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. There are several symptoms and causes and of carpal tunnel syndrome however it can be treated at home.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist made up of bones and ligaments. The median nerve, which controls sensation and movement of the thumb and the first three fingers, also runs through this passageway with tendons to the fingers and thumb

Causes

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a lack of room in the carpal tunnel passageway, any swelling around the area can compress the median nerve, causing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Repetitive activity which requires wrist movements, known as repetitive strain injury, can lead to inflamed tendons.

This condition is more likely to develop if you have suffered previous trauma to the wrist, such as spraining or a previous break. Rheumatoid arthritis can also compress the carpal tunnel.

Another cause is pressure within the tunnel due to fluid retention, this can be caused if you suffer from kidney failure, have an under active thyroid or are currently pregnant.

It can also be caused by changes to the median nerve itself.

Symptoms

There are several different symptoms of carpal tunnel symptoms such as pain, tingling, weakness and sensation problems.

Pain & Tingling

Carpal tunnel develops slowly. First, it will be most notable at night or when you first wake up. The feeling is similar to pins-and-needles, throughout the day you may feel this pain or tingling when holding objects or driving. Shaking or moving your finger will usually help.

Weakness

As carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, you may notice weakness in the thumb and first two fingers and it may be difficult to make a fist or grasp objects. Simple things may become more difficult, you may find yourself dropping objects and struggling to hold objects.

Sensation Problems

Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause a feeling of numbness in the hands. It can create a sensation of your fingers being swollen, despite no swelling being present. People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome may struggle to distinguish between and cold.

Treatment

If you do suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome there are several steps to take to treat the issue. Firstly, plenty of rest is required avoid any strenuous activity that could cause further damage to the wrist.

If you suffer from a repetitive injury you can try and eliminate the cause of your injury. For example, changing your workstation or equipment at work where possible.

A crucial step to take is to see a doctor or a physiotherapist and gain professional medical advice.

Additionally, you can either wear a heat retainer or a wrist support, to prevent movement a splint can be worn which will aid in the rest process.

Here at Firstaid4sport we offer a wide range of supports which can help with carpal tunnel syndrome, alongside our range of kinesiology tape which can be used to ease pressure from the wrist and relieve pain.

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