Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes and Treatment
Hand strength and finger dexterity are largely due to muscles located in you arm. Muscles that close the hand are called flexor muscles and muscles that open the hand are called extenser muscles. These muscle tendons travel to the different hand functions through the wrist. A ligament covers the tendons and nerves as they enter the hand. That is where the term tunnel comes from. The main nerve is called the median nerve and travels from the back of the neck along the shoulder and down the arm through the carpal tunnel to the hand.
That tingling feeling in the hand and a numbness feelings in the hand could be caused by damage to the nerve as it travels through the shoulder and down the arm. If you have these or similar symptoms consult a qualified health provider to determine where the problem exists. In other words be sure of what you need to treat as carpal tunnel syndrome can exhibit similar symptoms. Proper body posture is important and might influence the pain and tingling that is felt in the hand and wrist. As much as you are able, keep your back straight and not hunched over.
Pain in the hand and wrist can be disease caused. Any disease, such as diabetes, or any other condition that causes water retention in the lower arm and hand can cause the already crowded carpal tunnel to swell and irritate the median nerve.
Any damage to the wrist area can cause swelling and inflame the median nerve.
In the majority of carpal tunnel syndrome cases the cause is muscle imbalance between the flexor muscles an the extensor muscles in the fore arm. The imbalance occurs because in many work related or domestic activities the flexor muscles are used more so than the extensor muscles. This tends to increase the size of the flexor muscles and tendons and that takes up space in the carpal tunnel. When the thicker tendons rub against the median nerve the median nerve becomes inflame. Continuing the activity that caused the inflammation will add to the problem.
In the early stages many people find relief by doing a stretching exercise. This seems to work best in the early stages before the median nerves is badly inflamed. One word of caution is that if one of the muscles or tendons is torn, stretching would make that worse also.
Cold compresses to the wrist area can bring some relief as the cold compresses will lessen the swelling. Often alternating hot and cold compresses are recommended. Most sports trainers will not use hot applications as the heat opens up the small capillaries and the blood causes more swelling in the inflamed area.
Antinflamitory drugs and muscle relaxers can provide temporary relief. They will not cure anything. In fact a prolonged use of the antinflamitory drugs and muscle relaxers will degrade the muscles and tendons and cause greater problems.
One of the most effective non invasive treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome is messaging specific to the effective area. This is usually the forearm. Messaging is known to relax muscles and reduce swelling. Muscles can also become knotted together causing an imbalance in the muscles. Messaging can help eliminated the knotted muscles.