Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common injuries for adults. Women, in particular, are most often affected by it, developing the condition three times more often than men.
While most of us tend to think it only affects people who type all day on computers, it can develop in anyone exposed to repetitive wrist movements, vibrations and heavy manual work. This includes those who work in industries like manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning and meatpacking or who play sports, such as swimming, motocross and weightlifting.
But just because carpal tunnel syndrome is common, that doesn’t mean you have to live with the painful tingling in your wrists, fingers and hands. The experienced orthopedic specialists at Tanner Ortho and Spine Center can help with a variety of treatments to ease your chronic nerve pain.
Left untreated, carpal tunnel can lead to permanent muscle deterioration.Carpal Tunnel Prevention
To help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, you can:
- Avoid fully bending your wrists during work activity, when possible.
- Keep your hands and wrists warm so your muscles will stay loose.
- Reduce the force needed to perform tasks like typing and writing.
- Stretch your fingers, hands and wrists often during repetitive tasks.
- Take frequent breaks.
Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis
Early diagnosis and treatment for carpal tunnel can help you avoid permanent damage to the median nerve, one of the main nerves in your hands. It provides feeling in your thumb and index, middle and ring fingers, and controls the muscles around the base of your thumb.
At Tanner Ortho and Spine Center, you’ll visit one of our orthopedic specialists who will check your health history and give you a physical exam. You may also have electrodiagnostic tests to stimulate the muscles and nerves in your hand so the doctor can see how well they work. These tests are the best way to diagnose carpal tunnel.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
We’ll work with you to develop the best treatment to relieve your pain and discomfort. Depending on your condition, your treatment may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines, taken by mouth or injected into the carpal tunnel space, can help ease swelling.
- Exercise can help relieve your symptoms. Physical or occupational therapy to learn stretching and strengthening exercises may be recommended to help the median nerve move more freely.
- Splinting your hand helps keep your wrist from moving and eases nerve compression inside the tunnel.
- Surgery may be needed if nonsurgical treatment doesn’t relieve your symptoms. Carpal tunnel release surgery can ease the pressure on your median nerve.
- Worksite changes, based specifically on your type of work, may be recommended. Ergonomic changes to your workspace can help ease your symptoms.
Make an Appointment
If you’re experiencing chronic pain that makes it difficult to work or enjoy your favorite activities, it’s time to seek medical attention. To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome treatments or to find an orthopedic specialist near you, please call 770-214-CARE (2273) at any time or visit TannerOrtho.org.