Whether you have heard heard of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or not, the fact is that it is surprisingly common. One study highlighted that there were over 400,000 carpal tunnel surgeries in one year alone, costing the economy in excess of two billion dollars. Despite being so common, it is a condition which the general public does not know much about.
The aim of this article is to change that. We want to answer your questions about this condition, including: What is carpal tunnel syndrome? What causes it? Do I have it? What are the treatment options? Read on to find out the answers!
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The American Society of Hand Therapists defines Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as follows:
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve passing through the wrist is pinched or compressed, causing a progressively painful condition. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway linking your arm to your hand in which nine tendons and the median nerve are surrounded by an in exible bony bracelet. The carpal tunnel is comprised of the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Anything which puts pressure on or irritates the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Examples of this include inflammation caused by osteoarthritis of the wrist, overuse of the wrist, or fracturing your wrist, which leads to a narrowing of the carpal tunnel.
Factors which increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Hereditary / biology. The width of your carpal tunnel may influence the chances of you suffering from this condition. More narrow carpal tunnels are more likely to lead to the median nerve being pressurized or irritated;
- Gender (the condition is more common for women);
- Overuse of the wrist (for example in a job where the wrist is used repetitively).
Do I have carpal tunnel?
Patients who have suspected carpal tunnel syndrome usually report at least one of the following symptoms:
- A tingling or numbness of the fingers, thumb, or hand;
- Weakness and a tendency to drop objects with your hand.
If you are experiencing these symptoms – and you have some of the risk factors listed above – then it is very possible that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
What the treatment options for carpal tunnel?
There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome. For carpal tunnel treatment in Doral, we recommend you speak with our Certified Hand Therapist. She will evaluate your condition and then prescribe the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific circumstances and symptoms.
In addition to providing carpal tunnel therapy in Miami, we also provide hand therapy for other hand related conditions, physical therapy, and massage therapy. Our Miami clinic offers an open and friendly environment where you will feel comfortable being treated by an OT/CHT in a one-on-one setting.