Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when a nerve gets compressed as it passes through the wrist, causing pain and numbness or a tingling sensation of the thumb and fingers.
Commonly associated with assembly line work, keyboard typing and other repetitive manual work (even playing musical instruments!!), CTS sometimes gets referred to as ‘repetitive strain injury’ (RSI).
Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can usually be diagnosed by your GP, who will examine your hand and wrist and ask you about your symptoms.
Your GP will assess your ability to use your hand, wrist or arm and look for signs of weakness in the muscles surrounding your thumb.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) depends on the severity of the condition and how long you have had it.
CTS may improve in some cases after a few months without the need for any treatment. Simple hand movement exercises often help to relieve symptoms. The orthopedic ergonomically designed IMAK Stress Ball is ideal for hand/ wrist rehabilitation and comes highly recommended by a Professor of musculoskeletal medicine, as written about in this article.
Please note it is always best to avoid activities that may aggravate and make your symptoms worse.
In cases where CTS symptoms persist there is a range or non-surgical treatments available that aim to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.
It is worth noting that if your CTS is caused by an underlying health condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, treating the condition should improve your symptoms.
Unless there is thought to be an immediate need for surgery, treatments such as wrist splints and corticosteroid injections are often recommended initially.
A “Wrist Splint” supports the wrist in a neutral position and is designed to prevent the wrist from bending, which in turn reduces the risk of pressure on the median nerve which could aggravate your symptoms.
You should begin to notice an improvement in your symptoms within four weeks of wearing the wrist splint. Products such as the IMAK Elbow PM, IMAK Smart Glove PM and IMAK Pil-o-Splint are designed for night-time use in reducing the pain and effects of carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome and other associated pain. Click HERE for our range of CTS/ RSI Gloves.
Corticosteroids are a type of steroid medication. Steroids are hormones that are naturally produced in the body. They are powerful chemicals that can help reduce inflammation.
Corticosteroids may be recommended if a wrist splint does not work, and are either given as either tablets, or injected directly into the wrist. If the condition responds well to the initial injection, it can be repeated if or when required.
In certain cases surgery may be required; this is best discussed about with your own GP/ Surgeon.