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
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.
This diagram shows the location of the median nerve in the wrist. Pain and numbness
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.
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.