Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs as a result of the median nerve being compressed in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. It is medically diagnosed. However, knowing the causes and symptoms are helpful in making you able to avoid things contributing to the onset or worsening of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually a slow-onset problem, and diagnosing carpal tunnel early is important to avoid permanent nerve damage. It is more common in women than men.
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can be complex, with multiple factors that may contribute including heredity, age, and hormonal changes. Other causes are:
• Swelling around the wrist from injuries
• Continual use of vibrating power tools
• Cyst or tumor existing in the wrist
• Poor ergonomic use of the wrists/hands
Health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, or diabetes can all lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Typically, patients report a tingling or burning in the hands—infrequent yet noticeable—or numbness and decreased sensitivity. Symptoms typically appear at night, progressing to be present during the day as well. The affected hand loses strength and dexterity, making everyday activities become chores. Electrodiagnostic testing is commonly done to confirm the diagnosis. Two tests are commonly used called electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV). Referral to a neurologist to administer these tests will be done. If you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, then Carpal Tunnel Release surgery may be necessary.