Our hands are among the most versatile tools we have for grasping objects, writing, drawing, holding things, and a plethora of other things that we too often take for granted. The 27 bones in your wrist, palm, and fingers (8 carpal bones, 14 phalanges, and 5 metacarpal bones) are important in our development as a civilization for the things we’ve built with them; but with that use also comes pain from a variety of joint and nerve problems.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain in your forearm and hand and can make performing basic tasks more difficult. There are ways to reduce and avoid the pain associated with this illness, so let’s look at what carpal tunnel syndrome is, its causes and symptoms, and what you can do to prevent the pain.
If you live in the Fort Worth, Texas area and you’re trying to cope with the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome or other problems that affect your hands and wrists, Dr. Joseph Daniels and his talented team of specialists at Southwest Orthopedic Associates can help.
The carpal tunnels are the narrow tubes in your wrists where the median nerves and tendons attach to your forearm and hand, which includes the carpal bones that make up the shape of the tunnel, and the ligaments that hold it together.
Your median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to your thumb, index, middle, and half of your ring finger and carpal tunnel syndrome results from pressure added to this nerve. The pressure then causes the nerves to swell, causing the problems with sensation and leading to a range of problems with your wrists and hand.
This illness can be caused by a range of different factors, including genetics, health conditions (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid gland imbalance), hormonal changes during pregnancy, prolonged extreme positions in your wrists and hand, and repetitive motion.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often associated with people sitting at desks performing office work, but anyone can find themselves struggling with it, and it is more common in women and older people.
People dealing with this problem have symptoms like numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the hand and wrists, radiating shock-like sensations, pain and tingling that moves up the forearm and shoulder, and weakness in your hand, affecting fine motor function. The last symptom can make it harder for you to hold onto things or do more delicate tasks like buttoning a shirt.
Here are some basic ways you can avoid the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome:
If you’re doing a lot of work with your hands, be sure to give them time to rest, especially if the tasks are repetitive in nature. Wiggle your fingers and stretch your hands to improve blood flow while they’re at rest whenever possible.
This problem often affects people at night, so keeping your wrists straight with a splint can help to alleviate the pain that can come with it. It can also help for daily activities, so feel free to use it to prevent issues before they start.
Basic things like making a fist and sliding your fingers until they are straight can help alleviate pain and pressure on your wrists, and can be done anytime you need.
Avoid tasks that force your wrists, hands and fingers in extreme positions in either direction and keep them as neutral as you can to avoid pain.
Whenever performing tasks with your hand, soften your grip to lower pressure on your nerves and consider hand warmers or fingerless gloves to keep them warm if necessary.
These are just some things you can do to help alleviate the pain that can come from wrist problems and if these tips aren’t enough, we’re here to help. So if you’re ready for relief from carpal tunnel syndrome and other problems in your hands and wrists, make an appointment with Dr. Daniels and Southwest Orthopedic Associates today.