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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Pain Pain Arrow to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

repetitive stress at keyboardCarpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed where it passes through the wrist, which pinches the nerve and causes a number of different symptoms such as burning, tingling, numbness, and general weakness in the effected area.

Although carpal tunnel syndrome has been known about since at least the early 20th century, it wasn't until the sharp rise in the number of office workers toiling away at computer keyboards in the late 20th century that the condition became generally known to the public.

Today, carpal tunnel syndrome has no known cause, although scientists believe that genetic disposition is an important influence. In fact, there is actually little or no data that proves a definitive link between repetitive work related activities and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is certainly true that repetitive hand movements are associated with wrist pain in some way, but whether those movements are the direct cause of the pain associated with carpel tunnel syndrome remains to be seen.

diagram showing nerves, tendons, and ligaments involved in carpal tunnel syndrome
This diagram shows the location of the median nerve in the wrist. Pain and numbness
occur when the nerve is compressed by surrounding bones, tendons and ligaments.

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome is often an ongoing affair, as almost all treatments simply relieve the symptoms rather than address the underlying condition. Wrist braces to limit mobility are often used to allow the wrist to heal, and steroid injections can offer short term relief.

Alternative treatments proven effective with a number of patients include acupuncture, yoga exercises, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, bromelain, and other natural supplements that help heal nerve damage or reduce inflammation.

Physical therapy may also help, and changing the work environment to better accommodate the wrist can also offer a great deal of relief. Anti-inflammatory medication can also be of great benefit.

In more severe cases, the only way to really treat carpal tunnel syndrome is through surgery, whereby the transverse carpal ligament (see diagram, above) is cut to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.

If measures are taken to address the condition quickly. recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome is usually fairly good. If the condition is left untreated, recovery may never be full and nerve damage in some form can become permanent.

also see -> Desk exercises | Sciatic nerve damage


More about carpal tunnel syndrome around the Web:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information Page
- Check out an extensive fact sheet on the syndrome including a definition, prognosis and treatment, related organizations and contact info, suggested reading and related resources.

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Carpal Tunnel - Here's expert information and related studies on alternative treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome -- including acupuncture, yoga exercise, vitamin B6, B12, and other supplements.


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