Carpal tunnel syndrome: what it is, its symptoms and causes that cause it

The carpal tunnel syndrome It is considered a neuropathy, it causes pain and even lack of sensibility and movement that starts from the hand, wrist and forearm producing as well as tingling pain in the fingers, numbness, weakness and cramps.

Both hands can be affected, jointly or suffer from this syndrome first in one hand and to spend a few years in the other and occurs as a result of repetitive movements that we perform with them.

As the name suggests this syndrome affects the carpal tunnel, the carpal tunnel is the channel that is in the wrist and through this channel the median nerve and the flexor tendons of the fingers pass, the pain appears when this nerve is compressed. The median nerve is the one that allows movement and sensitivity to the fingers and part of the hand.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

The causes for which the carpal tunnel syndrome appear can be several, although the most common are the repetitive movements that we make with our hands.

In fact, this is very influential in our profession, especially working with the computer, packer or packer, hairdresser, pneumatic hammers commonly used, carpentry work ... Even the usual household tasks such as ironing can be a related cause.

But it is not the only one. Some habits such as sleeping with the hands under the pillow can also influence their appearance. Like having suffered some traumatism or suffering from some diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or hypothyroidism.

What are your symptoms?

The first symptoms usually appear at night, after being asleep, we noticed tingling in the affected hand, pain, cramps and numbness.

These symptoms reach the forearm and reach the elbow with what sleep is interrupted.

When we let the time pass with these symptoms, the syndrome will not improve, in any case it will worsen producing atrophy in the muscles of the hand, it prevents us from doing the pincer movement, difficulty to pick up objects, weakness and rigidity in the fingers.

Given these symptoms, it is best to go to the doctor and put yourself in the hands of a specialist who will make the appropriate review and tests to confirm the diagnosis.

How is it diagnosed?

The first tests that the specialist will do are to explore both the strength and the sensitivity of the hand and fingers.

The study is completed with other tests to elicit carpal tunnel symptoms such as Tinel's test or sign, Phalen's test, Durkan sign or test.

The Phalen test it consists of flexing the elbows while they flex and join the two palms forming an angle of 90ยบ with the forearms and without moving them for a minute, the patient will begin to feel tingling that will occur in the median nerve.

The Tinel test it consists of pressing gently chasing the trajectory of the median nerve with what the patient will notice tingling and discomfort.

The proof or sign of Durkan consists of the specialist pressing with his thumbs on the carpal tunnel in the median nerve, maintaining the pressure for 30 seconds, seconds that will be enough for the patient to feel pain, tingling or numbness.

To complete the study and see how the median nerve is affected, the specialist can request other tests such as a study of nerve conduction, a study to see how sensory and motor conduction has decreased, for this last study an electromyogram is performed.

And how is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?

The treatment will depend on the results of the tests and the degree of involvement of the syndrome.

For cases in which the affectation is mild, the treatment usually consists of resting the hand, at bedtime resting the forearm and hand with a splint, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, always prescribed by the specialist.

For the most severe or severe cases in which the symptoms have been present for a year or more, the specialist will resort to surgery to release the median nerve.

Surgery usually gives very good results as long as you follow the doctor's instructions for the postoperative period.

With the passing of days the pain will subside, as well as the rest of the symptoms, in some cases after passing the postoperative period it is necessary to do some sessions of rehabilitation of the hand. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Nucleus Health (June 2024)