Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is usually compressed underneath a ligament called the Carpal ligament. This often happens because the tendons in the wrist have become enlarged and they start to compress the median nerve that runs next to them. The median nerve supplies a few of the muscles that are responsible for moving the thumb, it also carries sensory information back to the brain about sensations that have been felt on your thumb, index, middle and half of the ring fingers.
What does it feel like?
When the nerve has become irritated it can cause sensations of pain, aching, tingling and/or numbness in the affected hand and fingers as described earlier. The symptoms tend to be worse at night and can cause a disruption to your sleep, however you may notice it most when you wake up in the morning due to your wrist and hand being in a specific position that’s compressing the median nerve while you have been sleeping.
You may not notice the problem at all during the day, though certain activities such as writing, typing, DIY or housework can bring on symptoms.
Sometimes the condition can be confused for something else. For example, compression of nerves in the neck due to disc problems, circulatory complications or arthritis can cause comparable symptoms.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Don’t worry Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common issue that is seen and treated on a regular basis. It is often caused by repetitive strain injury also known as RSI due to work-related activities, such as typing, and repetitive movements, although some cases may be related to arthritis of the wrist, thyroid disease and pregnancy. Your risk of developing it is most likely if your job places heavy demands on your wrists.
If you would like to find out more information on Carpal tunnel syndrome or would like to speak to our Osteopaths for professional advice and treatment please get in touch with us today.