Recognizing and Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: By: Staff Writers

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> ERGONOMICS
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> REPETITIVE STRAIN
> REPETITIVE STRESS
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> TENNIS ELBOW
> TRIGGER FINGER

 

The carpal 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 syndrome.