Carpal Tunnel by Tina de los Reyes
We hear everyone complain about it around work. We may even complain about it ourselves. There’s a reason for our grumbling — it’s painful. Carpal tunnel affects over 8 million Americans, costing over a billion dollars in annual medical treatment.
The pain caused by carpal tunnel is a result of the medial nerve, which runs along your forearm, through the wrist, and into the hand. When this nerve is compressed, you begin to feel the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
A slight tingling sensation, followed by numbness in the hands will sometimes result in pain or weakness of the joints. Carpal tunnel may feel the most distressing when you are participating in daily activities, such as holding on to a steering wheel or a cell phone. Even sleeping becomes difficult because of the uncomfortable sensation in your wrist.
Carpal tunnel is sometimes triggered by:
- Thyroid disorders
- Kidney failure
Carpal tunnel is also rooted from wrist fractures, joint dislocation, and inflammation.
Treatment, for mild cases of carpal tunnel, includes taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, and prescription corticosteroids. The corticosteroids and NSAIDs alleviate symptoms by reducing swelling in the wrist and hand. Splinting of the wrist may also reduce pain. Surgical procedures to relieve pressure on the medical nerve may be administered for more severe cases of carpal tunnel.
More holistic approaches in relieving or possibly preventing symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
- Regularly participating in yoga
- Avoiding cold environments, or simply keeping your hands and wrists warm by wearing gloves
- Improving your posture by sitting up straight, disallowing your shoulders to roll forward
- Taking breaks when your body, namely your hands, are feeling fatigued
- Relaxing your hand grip, when holding items
The U.S. Department of Labor has called Carpal tunnel the “chief occupational hazard” of our time, as it is the number one reported medical problem to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Gently grab your yoga mat, and don’t let carpal tunnel affect you!The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.