What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is characterized by the disruption of the median nerve due to the compression of the wrist in the carpal tunnel. Symptoms of CTS include numbness, tingling, or burning in the thumb and fingers, particularly the index, middle, and radial of the ring fingers. Minor symptoms include wrist pain, hand pain, or the loss of grip strength. Sometimes the lines can be blurred between CTS and arthritis.
Causes of CTS has lead to heated debate amongst medical professionals and academics. Whether or not CTS is a genetic ailment, or the result of environmental factors such as too much typing is unknown. However, CTS tends to be associated with obesity, arthritis, pre-diabetes and trauma.
Work Related CTS Causes
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), suggested that job tasks involving the repetition of manual acts, or specific wrist postures were associated with CT. However, a distinction from work related arm pains and the syndrome itself was not clearly delineated. But a 2010 study by NIOSH showed that two thirds of the 5 million carpal tunnel cases were work related. Also it was shown that women are more prone to carpal tunnel than men.
How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel
One of the easiest ways to protect against Carpal tunnel is to maintain proper posture when typing. Moreover, taking proper breaks, and treating symptoms when present has shown to decrease the occurrence of CTS immensely. If diagnosed with CTS the only truly effective treatment is rest from the activity that may have spurned the condition in the first place. However, other treatments are available such as physiotherapy, steroids, splinting or surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament. Surgery, however the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends proceeding with natural remedies before seeking a surgical solution.