Carpal tunnel syndrome affects office workers, cashiers, hairstylists, assembly line workers and anyone who performs repetitive motion tasks. According to the National Library of Medicine, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to compression on the median nerve.
If you have carpal tunnel, it may be due to your current occupation.
Carpal tunnel complications
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, the odds are that you experience various symptoms, including:
- Pain and numbness in the hands or fingers
- Burning and tingling in the fingers, particularly the index, middle and thumb
- Difficulty gripping objects
For some patients, carpal tunnel presents with complications. The syndrome can lead to lasting and irreversible damage to the median nerve. Once nerve damage occurs, you may have to cope with permanent impairments. In addition, CTS may cause you to lose dexterity and cause chronic pain.
Carpal tunnel treatments
For mild CTS, physicians may suggest that you splint your wrist for at least three weeks. They may recommend steroid injections into the carpal tunnel if the treatment does not alleviate the pain. If the physician suggests surgery, he or she may also use steroid injections for surgery management. Surgical procedures aim to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.
Initial physical or occupational therapy may involve a focus on hand ergonomics. To reduce symptoms, the keyboard should be at the right height to minimize your hand’s flexion, abduction, extension and adduction.
Generally, a combined medical, physical and occupational therapy treatment can help patients continue to function despite carpal tunnel syndrome. Most people require multiple treatments to cope with the discomfort.