Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Disorder – What is this?
Many people who work with their hands or have daily activities that require repetitive movement with their hands, can be subjected to numbness and tingling in the fingers. The median nerve supplies sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and a portion of the ring finger. When the space where the median nerve resides in the wrist narrows, it puts pressure on the nerve and patients experience the numbness and tingling symptoms. These symptoms can cause patients to drop items and often they wake up during the night needing to shake their hands, in order to decrease the tingling sensation.
Commonly, carpal tunnel is treated by having the patient wear splints at night that keep the wrists from flexing and causing more pressure on the nerve. In addition, injection therapy can help by diminishing pressure in the wrist that can cause more damage to the nerve. If splints and injections are not effective, surgical intervention will be needed. The brief surgery involves widening a ligament that allows the nerve more space and better circulation. If this syndrome is discovered early on, surgery can provide instant relief. However, if the patient’s symptoms have persisted for years, relief from surgery will take longer.