Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition affecting the hand. People struggling with this condition can feel pain, weakness, and numbness in the hand and wrist. Some lifestyle changes, like wearing wrist splints, are possible treatments. Carpal tunnel syndrome in North Austin is treated by a team of pain management experts who help restore your mobility and give you pain management programs to relieve your pain.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and wrist. It occurs when too much pressure is induced within the wrist on the median nerve. This nerve gives a sensation to the thumb, middle, and index fingers and half of the ring finger. The small finger is not affected.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
A physical examination of the arms, hands, and neck can help learn if the person's complaints are related to their activities or an existing disorder. A health provider can highlight other conditions that resemble carpal tunnel syndrome. Your wrist is examined for swelling, warmth, tenderness, and discoloration. Each finger is tested for sensation, and muscles under the hand must be inspected for strength and atrophy signs.
Some tests can produce symptoms of CTS. During the Tinel test, your doctor presses or taps on the median nerve in your wrist. If a resultant shock-like sensation or tingling in the fingers occurs, the test is positive. The wrist-flexion, or Phalen's test, involves getting a person to hold his or her forearms straight by directing the fingers down and pressing the back of the hands together. Carpal tunnel syndrome is proposed if more symptoms like increasing numbness or tingling are felt in the fingers for a minute.
Electrodiagnostic tests can help confirm CTS diagnosis. Electrodes are placed on the wrist and hand during a nerve conduction study. Small electric shocks are used, and the speed at which the nerves transmit impulses is measured. A fine needle is inserted into a muscle during electromyography, and electrical activity seen on the screen is used to determine if the damage to the median nerve is severe.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated through non-surgical and surgical procedures.
Non-surgical treatments are generally used for less severe cases. Treatment begins by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, wearing a wrist splint, and cortisone injections. Other treatments are based on ways to change the environment to relieve symptoms.
Surgery is applied when carpal tunnel syndrome is severe and does not respond to non-surgical treatments. The surgery aims to increase the tunnel size to decrease pressure on the tendons and nerves that pass through the small space. This is performed by cutting the ligament covering the carpal tunnel.
Detecting and treating carpal tunnel syndrome early with lifestyle changes and physical therapy can provide long-term improvement and relieve symptoms. Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to disability, permanent nerve damage, and loss of hand function. If you want to learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome treatment and prevention, call Republic Spine and Pain to schedule a consultation.