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What's Carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is found on the anterior portion of the wrist. Its a narrow passage providing access to the entrance of the palm for the median nerve and several tendons.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the wrist. This occurs when the carpal tunnel inside your wrist becomes inflamed. The median nerve provides sensation to your fingers and thumb, except the little finger. It carries nerve signals responsible for moving the muscles around the thumb.



Why does Carpal tunnel occur? Anything that irritates or restricts the median nerve in the carpal tunnel may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. For example a wrist fracture could narrow the carpal tunnel and aggravate the nerve or a form of arthritis may cause swelling and inflammation. In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a combination of factors all contributing to the development of the condition.


Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms start gradually and become more prominent over time these include:

  • Numbness and tingling sensation. You may notice numbness and tingling in your thumb and fingers except your little finger. It may feel like an electric shock and travel from your wrist up your arm. These symptoms usually occur while holding objects and making certain movements.

  • Weakness. You may experience weakness in your wrist and hand causing you to drop objects.


How is carpal tunnel diagnosed ?

A nerve conduction test may be carried out to determine if there is any compression of the nerve. A small electric current is put through one of your fingers. Electrodes are attached to the skin of your wrist and fingers, the speed of your nerve’s response to the current can then be measured.


Ultrasound scans are used in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve becomes inflamed and can be we visualised travelling through the carpal tunnel.


Recommended treatments for Carpel tunnel

  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (non invasive and preferred method of treatment)

  • Steroid injections

  • Medication

  • Physiotherapy

  • Surgery


GET STARTED ON THE PATH TO HEALTH. CALL NOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTENT ON 01493 601770

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