Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause incredible pain in the hands, wrists, and forearms. The team, at Source Healthcare, has extensive experience treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact our Santa Monica interventional specialists for consultation.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pain, numbness and tingling in your hand may be from carpal tunnel syndrome. It happens when the area around the main nerve to your hand is too tight. The nerve is called the median nerve. And the small space in your wrist where it passes is called the carpal tunnel.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in anyone, regardless of their age. It occurs due to the following reasons:
- Body structure – In some people, the carpal tunnel is smaller than normal, making it more prone to getting compressed.
- Occupation & lifestyle – If you utilize your hands and wrists a lot in your day-to-day life (for example, to write/type for a large part of the day or to flex your hand when lifting items or practicing a sport like playing tennis), you will be more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because the repetitive motion of the hands, wrists, and forearms can lead to a sprain and subsequent inflammation of the carpal tunnel.
- Hormonal changes – Events like pregnancy and menopause can cause hormonal changes that may lead to an inflammation in the carpal tunnel.
- Medical condition – Conditions like thyroid gland imbalance, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
What You Need to Know
The median nerve is located in the forearm and goes all the way across the palm, until the base of the thumb. It is responsible for the mobility of the muscles in the forearms and hands. The nerve helps us do day-to-day activities like making a fist, folding our fingers, writing/typing, bending/rotating our wrists, etc.
The median nerve runs through a narrow passage located in your wrist, called the “carpal tunnel.” The carpal tunnel is very small, about an inch in size, and is made of tiny carpal bones, the transverse carpal ligament and tendons like the flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor pollicis longus, and flexor digitorum profundus.
These bones, tendons, and ligaments are quite stiff and cannot stretch too much. Sometimes, the carpal tunnel experiences a physical shock/injury, which can stretch or squeeze the tunnel, causing the median nerve to get compressed within. This compression causes immense pain, discomfort, and swelling in the forearm, wrist, and hand. Your hand’s mobility may be compromised as well.
This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Normally, the condition isn’t very serious and goes away in a few weeks. In very minor cases, you may not even need to seek medical attention, but, in severe instances, carpal tunnel syndrome can be highly debilitating and can cause your hands to become so weak that you’re almost unable to use them.
At Source Healthcare, our Santa Monica arm pain specialists can diagnose your condition and help relieve the median nerve of the strain it experiences, thereby treating carpal tunnel syndrome.
Signs You May Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Weakness in the hands and wrists.
- Tingling feeling in the fingers (except in the little finger).
- Pain or burning in the hand and fingers when bending or flexing.
- Radiating shock-like sensations from the base of the thumb to the wrist.
- Inability to hold or lift items and constantly dropping things.
- The noticeable shrinking of hand size.
Procedures that Can Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Depending on the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome, our team at Source Healthcare will use a combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and therapy to relieve your symptoms. If needed, we will surgically decompress the median nerve and reduce the inflammation in the wrist. To facilitate faster healing and reduce pain, we can even splint your wrists.
Contact us to schedule your appointment.