In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is ignored for years and passed off as a temporary cramp of the hand and wrist. However, chronic pain in the hand may be evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. This painful and progressive condition is caused by compression to the median nerve that runs down the arm into the hand. The median nerve is responsible for controlling sensations to the palm of the fingers and impulses to some muscles in the hands.
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The carpal tunnel refers to a pathway containing ligament, tendons, and bones that also hosts the median nerve. This narrow and rigid passageway thickens when tendons are irritated, causing compression on the median nerve. Patients who develop this condition will have resulting pain, weakness, or numbness in their hand and wrist. Pain can sometimes radiate up the arm, making routine tasks feel impossible.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a kind of entrapment neuropathy, where the body’s peripheral nerves become compressed and manipulated. This condition causes distorted information to the nerves, most often leading to disabling pain. People who develop carpal tunnel will typically have symptoms of burning/tingling numbness in the hand and fingers, swollen hands, decreased grip strength, and decreased sense of temperature change.
According to research, women are three time mores likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. This may be because women’s hands are smaller, implicating smaller carpal tunnels themselves. A person’s dominant hand is at a higher risk of being affected by the condition and will typically produce the most pain. In a lot of cases, carpal tunnel develops as a result of overuse, and therefore usually occurs in adults.
Based on an evaluation from your Pain Center physician, a treatment plan will be designed unique to each patient. Various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain and swelling (ie aspirin, ibuprofen, other nonprescription pain relievers). Other conservative treatment options include corticosteroids injections and lidocaine injections. These injection therapies may provide temporary pain relief for people with mild to intermediate symptoms. Exercise, toga, and acupuncture may also benefit a person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be an option. Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure that goes in to correct the compressed carpal tunnel. Endoscopic surgery allows the surgeon to make smaller incisions, allowing a faster recovery and less postoperative discomfort.
For more information on carpal tunnel syndrome, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options, contact a Pain Center representative today. If pain interferes with your life, don’t wait any longer to seek treatment.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa, Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
©The Pain Center of Arizona, 2014