Researchers aren’t sure if long years of typing or computer use leads to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Do your hands hurt or fall asleep? Do you have difficulty grasping or holding small things? Do you have tingling or weakness with certain activities, such as driving or holding a phone? Pay close attention, as you could be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a common condition that occurs when a nerve in the wrist is narrowed.
Women are 3 times more likely to have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than men.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Carlos Augusto Arroyo Sánchez, a doctor specialized in Orthopedics and Traumatology, and a Senior member in the Nueva Granada Military University program, responds that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by a lesion in the median nerve of the hand causing numbness and pain that affects the functions of those who suffer it.
If the median nerve presents long-term damage, called severe innervation, the person can alter the sensitivity of the hand, losing the ability to grasp. Up to 5% of the world population suffers from this syndrome; and between 50% and 90% of cases of this disease are related to work activities and the effort that they imply due to physical work such as assembly, carpentry, knitting, gardening or sports, such as golf, among others.
This, due to the bad position of the wrist and the use of excessive force in some of these actions that can cause inflammation and deterioration in the sensory and motor nerves that are at the level of the wrist, causing damage or alterations in its functions.
Next, the specialist offers an ABC to understand everything about the disease, identify it and treat it.
THE ABC’S OF THIS SYNDROME
A The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening between the wrist bones and the ligament that holds them together. A nerve, called the median nerve, runs from the lower arm through the carpal tunnel to the hand. This nerve provides sensation to the thumb and the first three fingers.
B Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a type of localized neuropathic pain that can cause disability among patients.
C In general, this disease affects adults. Women are more likely to suffer from it, who have had health problems that affect the structures of the wrist, if you perform activities with repetitive hand movements, if you have a history of wrist injury, or if a close relative has suffered from CTS.
D Comprehensive and gradual treatment is important to prevent pain from becoming chronic. In the same way, going to the specialist and avoiding self-medication is a key factor. The first treatment is orthopedic or conservative, which consists of doing therapies to reduce inflammation of the nerve, in addition the use of splints at night is recommended. However, if the patient does not improve with this management, the need for surgery is considered.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Adopt a good posture to keep the wrists in a natural position; take breaks at work and vary tasks; stretching and exercising the hands and wrists are some recommendations to prevent CTS.