tunnel is a small tunnel located in the wrist that
is lined by eight (8) carpal bones and the Flexor
Retinaculum (carpal ligament). This canal is just
at the base of the palm and acts as the passageway
for nine (9) of the flexor muscles/tendons that connect
to your hand, allowing the wrist and fingers to flex
and the fingers to adduct, or come together. The
Median nerve also passes through this tunnel.
Problems with the Carpal Tunnel
As you can imagine, if you have any problems with the carpal tunnel, you could
experience an entire host of symptoms such as pain and numbness in the fingers,
as it hosts the Median nerve which supplies function to the thumb, index,
middle and one-half of the ring finger.
The most common problem that people experience
in relation to Median nerve dysfunction is carpal
tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS,
is usually caused by a muscle imbalance that results
from movements that involve repetitive or static
flexion such as gripping a power tool or typing
for prolonged periods of time.
When you are gripping objects or performing repetitive
movements at a keyboard for an extended period
of time day in and day out, you can make yourself
subject to this ailment. Performing repetitious
unidirectional motions without making any other
substantial movements can cause the flexor muscles
to become tight and restrictive, impinging the
underlying structures, resulting in the inflammation
of the tendons and their sheaths. As the tendons
and their sheaths swell up, they impinge the Median
nerve, causing the painful and debilitating symptoms
associated with carpal tunnel syndrome to develop.
The great news is that carpal tunnel syndrome
is an ailment that is completely curable and is
easily prevented with the implementation of a proper
stretch and exercise program that helps to maintain
the size of the carpal tunnel which keeps it from
impinging the flexor tendons and the Median nerve.
Of course it is very important to make people aware
of the problem so they may take the appropriate
steps in preventing the disorder from ever occurring
in the first place. Prevention begins with awareness.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome consist of numbness, tingling, burning,
paresthesia (pins and needles) and pain in the hands and fingers. The symptoms
will be concentrated in the thumb, index, middle and sometimes one-half of
the ring finger(s). As the disorder gets worse, your hand(s)may becoming
weak and clumsy and randomly drop things. The pain will increase and in many
cases will increase at night. Problems partaking in the activity that caused
it will begin.
Preventing carpal tunnel is not
too difficult to prevent! As long as you recognize
the symptoms associated with it and know the appropriate
stretches and exercises, you can prevent yourself
from ever getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Read
on for further advice on preventing carpal tunnel