carpal canal It is a narrow isthmus located on the inside of the wrist, and it consists of bones and ligaments. It extends from the forearm towards the palm of the hand through the carpal tunnel median nerve – the largest nerve responsible for the innervation of the flexor muscles of the upper limb. Carpal tunnel syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome is a series of symptoms associated with compression of the median nerve at the level of the wrist.
Anything that compresses or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture can narrow the carpal tunnel and irritate a nerve, as can swelling and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, there is no single cause for carpal tunnel syndrome A number of factors may contribute to its development.
Most patients Carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time. Left untreated, it can lead to permanent hand weakness, including loss of feeling in the fingers. For this reason, it is important to diagnose it quickly and treat it properly.
Many factors have been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. While they may not directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they can increase the risk of irritation or damage to the median nerve.
- Fracture or sprain of the wrist.
- the presence of a small carpal tunnel (this feature may be hereditary);
- Female gender – women are 2-3 times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men (some experts here suggest that it may be because women have smaller carpal tunnels);
- Age – carpal tunnel syndrome is most often diagnosed in people over 50 years of age;
- Nerve damage conditions – some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve;
- Rheumatic diseases, for example Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Pregnancy and menopause.
- other conditions such as thyroid disorders, kidney failure, or lymphedema;
- Work that involves repetitive motions of the wrist – Carpal tunnel syndrome often affects office workers, programmers, musicians and athletes.
At first, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are subtle and transient. Over time, they become more annoying, they may appear more often and they can also be felt for a longer period. It’s all about:
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers or hands (usually in the thumb and fingers – the index, middle or ring fingers, but not the little one)
- feeling of “current running” along the nerve,
- wrist pain,
- sensory disturbances or lack of sensation in the fingers or hands,
- limited ability to perform precise movements,
- frequent dropping of things from the hand,
- It is difficult to clench the hand into a fist.
Pain disorders often appear at night and awaken from sleep. Shaking your hands brings relief.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually affects one hand, the dominant hand Right and left handed people. However, it can affect both hands.
Tests that help diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome include: a valine test, a reverse valine test, and a Tinel test. They are provocative tests, which means that by increasing pressure on the carpal tunnel, they irritate the median nerve and It causes symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
to perform a valine testBend your wrists as much as possible (at an angle of 90 degrees) in the palms-up position, that is, connect your hands to the dorsal part. It’s even simpler – you should place your palms with your back so that the fingers are pointing down (reverse prayer). This position should last for a minute or two. If there are symptoms such as tingling, numbness in the fingers, and pain in the wrist, it indicates carpal tunnel syndrome.
Valen’s test can be seen in the video below.
Reverse valine test It is a modification of the first tests discussed. In this case Hands are joined as if in prayerWith his fingers straightened, he pulled his elbows out to the sides so that the wrists were maximally bent and the fingers were pressed against each other. In people with carpal tunnel syndrome Symptoms appear quickly after a few seconds.
Tenniel test differs from its predecessors. The hand is placed on a firm surfaceAnd For example on a table or desk. The palm of the hand is facing upwards. Then, with the finger of the other hand or with a nerve hammer (in the case of a specialist), the wrist is tapped at the place where the median nerve works for 30 seconds. The test is positive, that is, it indicates carpal tunnel syndrome when numbness or pain begins to be felt in the hand.
If the tests are taken at home, remember this The diagnosis must be confirmed by a doctor.
You can read about carpal tunnel syndrome prevention and treatment here.
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