How to tell if you have carpal tunnel syndrome

If you have tingling or numbness in your fingers, nerve pain in your wrist or hand, weakness in your hand, or swollen fingers you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from your spinal cord down the arm through the carpal tunnel, is compressed. The carpel tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that has just enough room for tendons and nerves to pass through it. If any of your tendons become swollen, the median nerve can be compressed in the small passageway. This causes a significant problem because the median nerve controls movement for some hand muscles, and the sense of touch for the thumb and some fingers.

You may have carpal tunnel syndrome if:

  • you experience tingling or numbness, such as pins and needles, in your fingers or the palm of your hand
  • nerve pain in your wrist or hand that can spread up your arm or down to your fingers
  • weakness in the muscles in your hands, making it hard to grip things
  • swollen fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused by factors such as a wrist or arm sprain or fracture, repetitive use of the wrist and hand, rheumatoid arthritis, fluid retention, a cyst or tumour in the carpal tunnel, diabetes, thyroid issues, and kidney disease.

How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome

There are a number of ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome such as:

  • ensure your wrists are correctly positioned in a neutral, almost straight position when using a keyboard or mouse. Avoid flexing the wrists in either direction
  • if your job involves heavy use of power tools, take regular wrist breaks and gently rotate your wrists to keep them mobile
  • avoid repetitive movements as much as possible. If your job requires repetitive wrist movements, such as for typing or maintenance work, take regular wrist breaks
  • physical therapy exercises and yoga that strengthen wrist mobility
  • medical treatment for underlying conditions such as thyroid problems, diabetes or arthritis.

Chiropractic treatments can be very effective at relieving carpal tunnel syndrome through light techniques and mobilisation to restore joint function in the wrist, and may help sufferers avoid surgery. For more information contact Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.

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