carpal tunnel

Carpal Tunnel – causes, symptoms & exercises

It’s been five years since Akansha graduated as a business analyst at her university. She has been working with a US-based consultancy company. She enjoys her work, even if it sometimes requires her to work extra hours. Her research is intense, her ppts are fascinating, and her excel sheets draw accurate  numerical conclusions.

Amidst all the boom in her career, she has been struggling with her physical health. Initially, she felt this numbness in her palm that would go away on its own, or she would do some wrist bends. But now, the intensity of the numbness has increased so much that it hinders her office work. She visits her doctor friend, Angad. He ran some imaging and physical tests and concluded that she had carpal tunnel syndrome. 

There he educated her about the conditions and prescribed her some medicines.

At this point, she knows a lot about herself and her condition, thanks to her doctor. But here we are to enlighten you about the syndrome if you don’t have an MBBS friend.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Before you learn about the syndrome, it is also essential to know about the tunnel. So, the carpal tunnel is a pathway from the wrist to the hand made up of tendons, ligaments, and bones. The median nerve passes through the tunnel, providing sensation to the ring finger’s thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease that causes tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand. It is also known as median nerve compression. It is caused by pressurising the median nerve, which spans the length of your arm via the carpal tunnel, and finishes in your hand. The median nerve regulates the movement and sensation of your thumb, as well as the movement of all of your fingers, save your pinky. Any damage to this nerve may lead to losing one’s ability to move and sense in the arm.

According to the NCBI report, it is estimated that a total of 4% to 5% of adults suffer from this syndrome and that women are thrice more vulnerable than men to get affected by it.

What causes CTS?

There can’t be a single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome that can be enlisted; rather, it can be due to a combination of various factors. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be triggered by anything that presses, irritates, or damages the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. A wrist fracture and the inflammation induced by arthritis can constrict the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve. Repetitive movements in the wrist only worsen the nerves condition, like typing for extended hours, and using heavy machinery like a chainsaw may also result in this condition. Indeed some factors may worsen the situation, like thyroid, diabetes, overweight, arthritis, and being over 60.

What are the signs of carpal tunnel?

Listed below are the possible symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that you may experience:

    • Fingers fall asleep

    • difficulty in holding items with one or both hands

    • Numbness or pain in one or both hands

    • The sensation of “pins and needles” in the fingers

    • Fingers that feel swollen

    • Finger tingling or burning, particularly in the thumb, index, and middle fingers

    • Pain or numbness that worsens at night and disrupts sleep 

carpal tunnel

Exercises for Carpal tunnel

  • Thumb Touches

Touch the tip of each finger by the tip of your thumb, one at a time, to form an O. Repeat many times.

  • Wrist Rotations

Rotate your wrist by moving your hand up, down, left, or right. Repeat up to 4 times.

  • Fist to stop sign 

Form a fist. Slide your fingers up until they point to the ceiling, as if to urge someone to stop. 5-10 times more.

  • Prayer Stretch

Place your hands beneath your chin in a praying pose. Push your hands all the way down to your waist until you feel a mild stretch. Keep holding for up to 30 seconds. Repeat two to four times more.

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Written By

Kanak Tiwari

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