Carpal tunnel syndrome is something to take very, very seriously. Nothing is worth compromising your health over, so make sure to listen to your body and take breaks often. In some cases, it may not have anything to do with your working environment or daily activities. Carpal tunnel syndrome has other causes, and these are just as important to investigate as a symptom caused by repetitive motion. Neurosurgery of Central Florida is here to discuss carpal tunnel and how imperative it is that you see your doctor if you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pain in the hand is the basic indicator for carpal tunnel syndrome. Specifically, symptoms present as numbness or tingling, and this sensation may only be present in the index finger and thumb. The feeling is similar to static shock, and you do not need to be using a computer to aggravate it; the pain is often there when your hands and wrists are at complete rest. You may also feel it in your arm along with weakness and an inability to hold or grab onto things as effectively. It may help to shake your hands and arms to rid yourself of the feeling, but this is only a temporary solution. Lifestyle changes or a doctor's visit are required to prevent the problem from getting worse.
What's Going On Inside My Wrist and Arm?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the median nerve in your wrist being squeezed. Know the feeling of your leg or arm falling asleep? That occurs because you are squeezing the nerves in those limbs. Like a hose being stepped on to prevent water from flowing, those nerves cannot transmit the signals which provide sensation and movement to that part of the body. Of course, all you have to do to restore the signal is to take the pressure off. Easy enough when you're leaning on a limb – but how do you alleviate pressure in the wrist?
Prevention and Treatment
Carpal tunnel is sometimes caused by heredity or injury, and long-lasting symptoms should definitely be checked by a doctor. The best thing you can do in the meantime is to take certain precautions to avoid exacerbating the problem with certain stressors.
Keep a soft grip
Don't squeeze a pen or type too hard
Practice good posture
Take frequent breaks
Do hand and arm stretches every so often
Keep your arm bent at a 90-degree angle when using a computer
Type on a keyboard directly in front of you, not off to the side
Avoid repetitive motions
You don't need to make drastic changes to recover from carpal tunnel syndrome; you just need to undergo treatment for a short period and listen to your body going forward. Your doctor may provide a wrist splint so that your wrist can stay in a straightened, relaxed position long enough for the pressure to be relieved. In extreme cases where there is swelling, surgery may be recommended. Whatever the case, do not take carpal tunnel syndrome lightly. Ignoring the pain can lead to permanent nerve damage. With due diligence and care, however, you'll be fine.
To learn more about carpal tunnel, contact the professionals at Neurosurgery of Central Florida today!