Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A band of fibrous tissue surrounds the wrist that generally functions as a joint support. The carpal tunnel is the tight space between fibrous band and the wrist bone. The condition caused by the compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, which leads to a narrow passageway on the palm side of wrist is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition which causes tingling, numbness, and other symptoms in the hand and arm. The anatomy of wrist, health issues and repetitive hand motions can be the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. Appropriate treatment generally relieves the numbness and tingling and restores hand and wrist function.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve travels from forearm through carpal tunnel to hand. It is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb and fingers (not little finger). Anything that irritates the median nerve can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. Even a wrist fracture which narrows the carpal tunnel and irritates the median nerve can be the reason of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The risk factors of carpal tunnel syndrome are as follows:

  • Anatomic factors: Arthritis, wrist fracture or dislocation that deforms the bones in the wrist, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Sex: Women are more prone to develop Carpal tunnel syndrome because the carpal tunnel area is relatively narrow in women than in men.
  • Nerve-damaging conditions: Chronic illnesses as diabetes increase the risk of nerve damage, including median nerve.
  • Inflammatory conditions: Inflammatory conditions as rheumatoid arthritis can affect the lining present around the tendons of wrist and put pressure on median nerve which may increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Alterations in body fluids: Fluid retention can increase the pressure in carpal tunnel that irritates the median nerve. This is normal in pregnancy and menopause. Carpal tunnel syndrome linked with pregnancy usually resolves on its own after pregnancy.
  • Workplace factors: Working with vibrating tools or work that requires repetitive flexing of the wrist can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The signs and symptoms of Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are as follows:

  • Tingling or numbness: Tingling and numbness may be experienced by the person in fingers or hand. Generally the thumb and index, middle fingers are affected, but not little finger. Sensation like electric shock in fingers may also be felt sometimes.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the hand may also be experienced. This can be due to numbness in hand.

Following are the ways to diagnose the carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • History of symptoms: Doctor will review the pattern of symptoms. For instance symptoms in little finger will reveal that problem is other than carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Physical examination: Your doctor will test the muscle strength in your hands and feeling in your fingers. Pressing or tapping the nerve can stimulate the symptoms in many people.
  • X-ray: An X- ray may be recommended of the affected wrist to detect other causes of wrist pain.
  • Electromyogram: In this test, doctor inserts a thin-needle electrode into particular muscles to find the electrical activity during the contraction and relaxation of muscles. This test can reveal the muscle damage.
  • Nerve conduction study: Two electrodes are taped to skin and a small shock is passed through the median nerve to observe if electrical impulses gets slow down in the carpal tunnel.

Following are the treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Nonsurgical Therapy for Carnal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Wrist splinting: A splint which holds wrist still while you sleep can assist to relieve nighttime symptoms.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs, as ibuprofen can aid you to relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid is injected to your carpal tunnel relieve pain, inflammation and swelling.

Surgery for Carnal Tunnel Syndrome

Surgery is appropriate in case where symptoms are severe or they are not responding to other treatments. The surgery of carpal tunnel may be done using two different techniques:

  • Endoscopic surgery: This is done by the surgeon by using a telescope-like device with a small camera attached with it (endoscope) to observe the inside carpal tunnel. Surgeon cuts the ligament by making one or two small incisions in hand or wrist.
  • Open surgery: This surgery is done by making an incision in the palm of hand over the carpal tunnel. Then the ligament is cut to free the nerve.

Alternative Treatments for Carnal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Ayurvedic treatment: Ayurvedic therapies as Pizchil, Ela Kizhi, Navara Kizhi, and Mamsa Navara Kizhi are found effective in decreasing the pain and numbness. A therapy of one to three weeks comprises of general massage along with herbal steam to Mamsa Navara Kizhi which is meat based external application.
  • Homeopathic treatment: Rhus toxicodendron, Ruta graveolens and Viola odorata is useful to reduce the stiffness and pain.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is generally advised by the doctor along with other treatments to overcome the symptoms.

Dietary Supplement for Carnal Tunnel Syndrome

Dietary supplements include herbs, vitamins, minerals, and many other products that have a vital role in the maintenance of health. They are accessible as pills, drinks, capsules, powders and energy bars. The best dietary supplement for carnal tunnel syndrome is GLME.

  • GLME (Green Lipped Mussel Extract): GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) is extracted from the green lipped mussel which is a shell fish grown in the farms of New Zealand. It is highly beneficial for the patients of carnal tunnel syndrome because of its great nutritional value.

Following are the unique benefits of GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) in the treatment and management of carnal tunnel syndrome:

  • It shields the stomach lining from the harsh effects of medicines used in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome by serving as Gastro-protective.
  • It assists other medicines to show their maximum efficacy.
  • It controls the inflammation process through several mechanisms and reduces swelling, pain, and inflammation.

Seatone is the best product of GLME (green lipped mussel extract):

  • It is extracted only from the premium, fresh mussels at their peak condition. Full control is kept to ensure that the harvesting is done at the best times of year.
  • Several tests are conducted to check the toxicity of Seatone.

Seatone is better than all the other treatments for carnal tunnel syndrome because:

  • Other treatments for carnal tunnel syndrome show many unfavorable effects while Seatone do not show any such effect.
  • Medicines used in the treatment of carnal tunnel syndromes damage the delicate lining of stomach while Seatone guards your stomach lining from the harsh reactions of these medicines.
  • Surgeries for carnal tunnel syndrome can cause the formation of blood clot or infection while Seatone do not show such side effects.
  • Medicines for carnal tunnel syndrome may provide you fast relief but it is generally temporary. However the Seatone provides gradual but progressive relief which is generally long lasting.
  • Medicines for carnal tunnel syndrome provide only relief from pain and numbness whereas Seatone will offer enhancement in grip strength and mobility along with the reduction in pain and swelling.
  • Seatone is safe at higher doses also but the medicines as corticosteroids are not at all safe at higher doses.

Following are the ways to manage carpal tunnel syndrome:

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

  • Take short breaks from the activities that use hands repetitively.
  • If you are overweight then lose weight.
  • Wear a snug or wrist splint at night.
  • Avoid sleeping on hands.

Alternative Medicine

  • Yoga: Yoga postures appropriate for strengthening and stretching can decrease the pain and enhance grip strength.
  • Hand therapy: Take the aid of physical and occupational hand therapy to decrease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Following measures can help to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Decrease force and relax grip: If you work on keyboard then press the keys softly. If you write for prolonged hours then use a big pen with big soft grip adapter and free flowing pen ink.
  • Take frequent breaks: Take frequent breaks and stretch and bend hands and wrist gently.
  • Improve your posture: Incorrect posture makes bends shoulders forward, shorten neck and compresses nerves in the neck which can affect wrists, hands and fingers.
  • Change computer mouse: Change your mouse if it is not comfortable for your wrist.
  • Keep hands warm: Hand pain and stiffness can be the result of working in a cold environment. You can use gloves to keep your hands warm.

The prognosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is very good. In some cases surgical operation is required and residual weakness can take place.

Disclaimer : All information on this website is only for general educational purpose and it cannot substitute the consultation with a doctor. It is highly suggested that you seek advice from doctor to determine your requirements. Women who are in their gestation or lactation period and children should not take any supplement without the consultation of their doctor.