Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What it is: The Carpal Tunnel is the passage in the wrist created by bones on three sides and ligament on the fourth. Through this tiny space, nine tendons pass, as well as the median nerve. It stands to reason that any inflammation of any sort in the carpal tunnel will cause the median nerve to be compressed, thus resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve goes on to the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. This is the reason for the burning, tingling feelings and for the numbness and the pain.
Important Facts: The wrist is the slimmest part of the human body. Slim wrists have been considered a sign of beauty for century’s, but people with smaller wrists, it is now known, are at higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
The carpals are the very small bones you feel when you touch your wrist. In the wrist is the carpal tunnel, which is enclosed by the carpals on three sides, and on the fourth side, by a transverse carpal ligament. Within this narrow space, is not only the median nerve, but also nine flexor tendons. These tendons help you bend your wrist and fingers. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty tight squeeze. If for some reason the carpal tunnel is too small, or if the tendons within the tunnel become larger, your median nerve will be compressed equaling carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment Duration: Some patients have mild problems and can be fixed in 1-4 weeks; others take longer.
How long should recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome take? Answer: Recovery is expected to take one to six weeks.
Do’s/Don’ts: Avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries while working at the computer. The best thing you can do is make sure you take adequate breaks. A break every twenty minutes can do wonders. This is especially important if you have any tingling or pins and needles sensation in your palm, because these are the first signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Statistics: “Only 23% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery.” Source: NIOSH
“Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery has about a 57% failure rate following patients from 1-day to 6-years. At least one of the following symptoms re-occurred during this time: Pain, Numbness, Tingling sensations.” Source: Nancollas, et al, 1995. J. Hand Surgery.
Steroid (Cortisone) Injection Statistic: Failure rate (Including “partial success” as failure) is 72.6% after 1-year follow up. Source: Irwin, et al. J Hand Surgery.
Common Myths: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Hypothyroidism — Until recently, despite much research on the subject, many doctors and endocrinologists have not been generally aware of the connection between carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and hypothyroidism.
Breakthrough Treatment: At PHYSIO Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Asheville, NC, Christopher Taylor, Physical Therapist, and his team implements a revolutionary treatment method for carpal tunnel syndrome that offers immediate wrist and hand pain relief using, no injections, no drugs and no surgery! This treatment is so cutting edge, you will not find this anywhere else in Western North Carolina. Call PHYSIO today to learn more!