Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand and arm condition affecting millions of people each year. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, numbness, and tingling felt in the hand and arm, which can limit hand function. The symptoms are due to compression of a nerve in the carpal tunnel. This nerve is called the median nerve, and it runs from your forearm to your hand via the wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually requires surgical treatment to relieve nerve compression and restore normal hand function. Let’s review what triggers carpal tunnel syndrome, so you know how to prevent it from developing.
There are some people who are prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to genetics. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with this condition, you may have an increased risk of developing it, as well. However, carpal tunnel syndrome is rarely due to just one cause. There are many other factors that trigger carpal tunnel syndrome in most people.
Repetitive Hand Motions
Any kind of repetitive motion of the hand and wrist can irritate your tendons, which may also result in pressure on your median nerve. This can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. Continuous typing is one activity that can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. People who work the cash register are also at risk. What really helps to reduce your risk is to stretch your hands and wrists, take frequent breaks, and alternate tasks whenever you can.
Prolonged Awkward Hand and Wrist Position
If your hand and wrist are held in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time regularly, it can cause tension, which also builds pressure on the median nerve. Playing musical instruments requires overextended hand positions that can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. Not using a mouse and relying on a touchpad is also a known trigger. Keep your hands in a relaxed position as much as you can, avoid bending them fully upward or downward, and take breaks regularly. At night, try wearing a splint to keep your wrist in a straight position.
Inflammatory Health Conditions
Health issues, such as arthritis, cause pain and chronic swelling in your hand and wrist joints, which can irritate the median nerve. The nerve damage from diabetes can also be a trigger for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment in Central Maryland
If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, the orthopedic doctors at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland can help. We specialize in providing comprehensive hand and wrist care. Depending on the severity of your condition, we can provide conservative treatments as well as state-of-the-art surgical options.
We understand how much we rely on our hands every single day, which is why we do our best to restore normal hand function as quickly as possible. To schedule a consultation, call the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 or send us an appointment request today. Our friendly staff will get back to you as soon as possible to schedule you.