Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

How to Beat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

How to Beat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By Nathan Wei

One of the most common problems seen in a rheumatologist's
office is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Carpal tunnel syndrome
is a condition due to pressure on the median nerve, the major
nerve that passes from the forearm into the hand.

The median nerve runs through a narrow tunnel formed by the
eight carpal bones of the wrist. The roof of the channel is
formed by a tough piece of fibrous tissue called the flexor

This problem affects about 9 million people in the United
States. While CTS is often due to other medical conditions such
as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, gout, trauma, and
pregnancy, it most commonly develops from repetitive motion.

Those who are most susceptible to developing CTS are mechanics,
cashiers, carpenters, grocery store checkers, assembly-line
workers, musicians, gardeners and knitters. Heavy computer use
and typing also may lead to CTS.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
• Wrist pain running into the hand or up the forearm...
sometimes even into the neck
• Swelling in the wrist and hand
• Numbness, burning and tingling in the hand, particularly at
• Pain with movement of the wrist or hand
• Weakness in the thumb and first two fingers
• Loss of grip strength
• Muscle atrophy in the meaty part of the palm next to the

Patients will often say they drape their hands over the side of
the bed or they shake their hands to get some feeling back into
them. Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from
CTS. Hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy and menopause
may make women more susceptible.

If a person develops carpal tunnel symptoms, they should see a
physician, either a rheumatologist or orthopedist.

The diagnosis is suspected clinically by history and physical
examination. It can be confirmed using electrical nerve
conduction testing. Also, diagnostic ultrasound can be used to
corroborate the diagnosis. Care must be paid since pinching of
nerves in the neck can also complicate diagnosis and treatment.

Once the diagnosis is established, then treatment can be
carried out.

Treatment options include:
•Non-invasive measures such as physical therapy, yoga,
ultrasound, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, and massage.
T hese non-invasive modalities may help a great deal.

• A cock-up wrist splint worn at night can also help with

• Rest from the repetitive motion is a must.

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin ,
ibuprofen and other non-prescription pain relievers can help
relieve symptoms. Be wary of potential side-effects.

• Corticosteroid injections may be very helpful. These
injections should be done using ultrasound guidance and a splint
should be applied for at least a week following the injection.

• A new method of ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release using
a needle is gaining more popularity. This method is less
invasive than surgical techniques with minimal downtime. While
not effective for everyone, it works well for many individuals.

• CTS surgery is reserved for severe cases after other
treatments have failed. Most patients can have their surgery
done endoscopically.

One other consideration is the workplace. None of the above
treatments will be effective if the workplace is not corrected
to be "carpal tunnel friendly."

About the Author: Nathan Wei, MD FACP FACR is a board-certified
rheumatologist and nationally known arthritis authority and
expert. For more info:
Arthritis Treatment and Arthritis Treatment Center


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And How To Avoid It

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And How To Avoid It
By Mila Sidman

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder of the wrist and
hand. It can cause pain, numbness and tingling. It’s caused by
doing repetitive hand motions, such as typing.

Medical transcriptionists are especially at risk of developing
carpal tunnel syndrome due to the amount of typing they do.

Although, there is no way of avoiding typing if you’re a
transcriptionist there are a few things you can do to alleviate
or avoid carpal tunnel altogether.

1. Set up a comfortable work area. Make sure you have plenty of
room to use the mouse comfortably and position your keyboard to
elbow level.

2. Keep your wrists and hands parallel to the floor as you
type. Do not rest your wrists on the keyboard unless it has a
specifically designed wrist rest on it (these let you rest your
wrist while keeping them straight).

3. Stretch your hands and arms before and after typing. Make a
tight fist with your hand, hold for a few seconds then slowly
release. This will help alleviate any tension in the hands and

4. Take breaks while working. Ideally, you should get up every
hour to stretch and relax your body. Shake your hands and open
and close your wrist to help relieve tension.

5. Sit up straight in your chair when working. Overall good
posture will give you good hand position.

6. Wear a wrist band to help avoid the problem. This will give
your wrists and hands extra support.

If you follow these tips early you may avoid carpal tunnel
syndrome altogether since there may be damage being done before
you actually feel any symptoms. And If you already suffer from
carpal tunnel, following these tips should help alleviate the

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling/numbness in
the hands, a burning sensation in the fingers, and/or sharp
pains from the wrist shooting up the arm.

If you do have any symptoms of carpal tunnel, you should see
your physician right away.

About the Author: Mila Sidman is an experienced MT and owner of - an informative website dedicated to
answering all your medical transcription questions.


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