Akhil is a 42-year-old software engineer. When he drove back home after hours of work, Akhil began to notice pain and numbness in his right arm. He had to move his thumb, forefinger, and middle finger continuously to restore sensation. It was increasingly being seen when he was working on the computer. And he realized that it was gradually getting in the way of Akhil's day-to-day affairs. Akhil, who used to play guitar, had to say goodbye to his intermittent practice due to hand pain. He decided to consult a doctor when he realized that the pain and numbness were causing him great distress. During subsequent treatment, Akhil was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common problem in individuals. The carpal tunnel is a body structure located at the base of the palm. Tendons and a nerve known as the median nerve pass under the carpal tunnel. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, forefinger, long finger, and half of the ring finger. Compression of the median nerve is caused by a decrease in the size of the canal or an increase in the size of the inflammation of the lubricating tissue around the flexor tendons. Neuropathic symptoms of carpal tunnel entrapment syndrome include numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the thumb, forefinger, long finger, and half of the ring finger. If left untreated, it can cause weakness and atrophy in the muscles of the hand.
The causes of most cases of CTS are unknown. Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with any condition that puts pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, including obesity, the use of contraceptives, hypothyroidism, gout, diabetes, and stroke. Constantly working on the computer or experiencing excessive force and vibration can also be one reason.
It is a fact that the daily activities of a person with carpal tunnel syndrome can be disrupted. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can make it difficult to complete even simple tasks such as putting down the buttons of a shirt or capping a bottle. The disease also makes it difficult for people to do regular repetitive tasks.
What kind of jobs can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
» Office work that requires a lot of typing.
» Technical tasks that require a lot of keyboard or data entry.
» Construction plant assembly line workers.
» Cleaning professionals. Painters.
» Construction workers mainly use hand hammers and other tools that vibrate the wrists
It is more common in individuals of this type. It is more common in two-wheelers due to constant strain on the wrists. Based on a person's medical background and physical examination, CTS-infected individuals may undergo electrodiagnostic tests using nerve conduction studies and electromyography. Electro diagnostic testing is the process of comparing the conduction velocity of the median nerve with the conduction of the other nerves supplied by the hand. When the median nerve is compressed, as in CTS, it slows down compared to other nerves.
How is the treatment?
» These are some of the accepted forms of treatment
» B vitamins and some anti-depressant medications have been suggested as ways to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
» Practice healthy habits and take medications such as omega-3 fatty acids.
» Steroids can be taken either orally or topically.
» Diabetes, hypothyroidism, polyneuropathy, and rheumatoid arthritis need to be treated with extreme caution.
» CTS splints that increase during pregnancy can be controlled to some extent.
» Release the compression of the horizontal carpal ligament through surgery.
» In case of persistent (not frequent) numbness, muscle weakness, or atrophy, surgery may be necessary if the night splint does not control the intermittent symptoms. Release of the horizontal carpal ligament is known as "carpal tunnel release" surgery. If done on time, the success rate of carpal tunnel release is over 95%.
» Avoid repetitive stress
» Make the use of ergonomic equipment (wrist rest, mouse pad) a routine.
» Take breaks in between work
» Modify the job with keyboard alternatives, such as digital pen, voice recognition, and dictation.
Always remember, that proper and scientific treatment in the early stages gives the best results.