Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve
entrapment disorder that causes significant
impairment and disability, affecting millions
of Americans each year.
There are a variety of uncomfortable symptoms
associated with the disorder, but the most
common clinical features involve pain, numbness,
paresthesia (pins and needles) and tingling
in the thumbs, first two fingers and sometimes
one-half of the ringer fingers. In more severe
cases, pain travels from the median nerve
up the arm, creating referred pain and dysfunction
throughout the forearm, shoulder, upper back
Despite decades of research, the etiology
and pathophysiology of carpal tunnel syndrome
are not well understood by many physicians
and therapists, although its origin in most
cases, aside from disease, is a result of
muscle imbalance in the upper extremity.
Indeed, research shows that several factors
make significant contributions to the disorder
including heredity (genes), environment (workplace
stressors), and illness (diabetes, renal
failure). Although some of these things are
unavoidable, there are still many easy, effective
ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Modifications to the home and workplace
are often a first resort. Therapeutic chairs,
keyboards, computer mouse, wrist rests and
wrist braces and splints are common options,
although relief is often short-term. For
long-term relief, it is recommended that
ergonomic products in combination with performing
active stretches and exercises can do a good
deal to eliminate pain and to promote muscle
balance with and around the carpal tunnel.
This in turn relieves pressure on the median
nerve and alleviates the disabling symptoms
associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
The best way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome
is to implement preventative measures, reduce
unnecessary stress and strain to the hands
and wrists and keeping physically fit and
muscles balanced in order to keep carpal
tunnel syndrome and the other many repetitive
strain injuries at bay. By exercising the
muscles in the hand, wrist, forearm and shoulder
so as to promote optimal muscle balance,
one can do a great deal to prevent carpal
tunnel syndrome from occurring.
Don't wait until disability sets in. Take preventative
measures to remain healthy, strong and pain-free! Take a moment to visit www.repetitive-strain.com
to learn more about proven techniques for
warding off this debilitating condition.