What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) happens because the area of the carpal bones or carpal tunnel (wrist bones) becomes inflamed.
In that area the median nerve passes. This nerve gives us feeling and movement to the hand.
Because the nerve passageway through the carpal bones is narrow, any swelling can give sensory symptoms, such as tingling, weakness or pain in the hand and fingers.
This injury is usually caused by repetitive stress to the hands. It occurs mostly in women (two-thirds of those affected are women).
Carpal tunnel syndrome: an occupational disease
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an occupational disease of great importance, affecting 250,000 workers per year in the U.S. This is because any person performing repetitive hand efforts are at risk of suffering it. Therefore, persons handling tools in their work are likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Chefs, butchers, fishmongers: repetitive use of the knife.
- Pianists: Musicians are the most affected group.
- Cleaning staff: by repetitive stress when using the mop, broom, cleaning, etc..
- Computer, secretaries, writers, clerks, administrative assistants: generally because of a bad posture while using the mouse or keyboard. There are ergonomic accessories for these cases.
- Assembly line workers, packers
- Mechanics, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, people who work with their hands and hand tools.
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by inflammation of the wrist which compresses the nerve of the hand, showing signs of pain.
- Work causes: When making repeated and energetic hand efforts, this ailment is more likely to appear (cutting, washing, typing, playing an instrument, etc..).
- Hormonal causes: It is believed that there may be a sexual component, so women are more likely due to hormonal changes. This lesion is especially pronounced in pregnancies, when using contraceptives and in menopause.
- Age: People between 30 and 60 years are at increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Arthritis: Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, and may predispose to this disease.
- Hypothyroidism, diabetes, scleroderma, alcoholism, obesity and gout may predispose to this disorder.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Initially it may cause mild, intermittent symptoms, with sharp pain and tingling in the palms.
- Lack of tact or tenderness in your fingertips.
- Pain in the wrist, hand or fingers. Throbbing pain in the wrist or elbow.
- Weakness and loss of strength in the hands.
- Inability to grasp things with your hands.
- Dull or swollen fingers.
- Tingling in the fingers.
- Dry and pale hand.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Natural treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Applying ice to the area may reduce swelling and relieve pain. If we apply heat and this relieves the pain, it is possibly we nave not this affectation.
- There are remedies with plants that can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Follow a diet recommended for carpal tunnel. Avoid excessive protein and additives such as tartrazine.
* More information on Remedies, Treatment and Diet for carpal tunnel.
Recommended daily tips to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome
- Use ergonomic accessories whenever possible, such as keyboards and adapted computer mice, for example. A specialist can advise on suitable alternatives for your job.
- Do not perform very vigorous and repetitive hand activities.
- Avoid being performing manual tasks for more than two hours.
- Make stops of five minutes when performing manual tasks.
- Maintain ergonomic position of the hands when working with your computer (hand and wrist should be in flat angle, both typing and using the mouse).
More information on carpal tunnel syndrome natural treatment.