How many hours in a day do you spend in front of your computer? Four? Six? More than 10 hours? Are your hands constantly working on the mouse and the keyboard?
Be careful! If you are beginning to feel an unusual pain and numbness in your wrist up to your arm and even your neck, you might be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
This unusual pain is usually felt when pressure is exerted on the wrist’s median nerve and finger tendons which can be found enclosed in a tunnel formed by carpal bones and a membrane. The median nerve found in the Carpal Tunnel controls the thumb, middle, and index fingers.
Any form of inflammation or swelling, or any deformation in the wrist may tighten or distort the tunnel and consequently apply pressure on the median nerve. This is when you begin to feel pain, muscle fatigue, and numbness in the wrist and arm.
Aside from long hours of keyboard and mouse use which involves the repetitive twisting of the hands and wrists and keeps the wrists at an unnatural angel, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may also originate with a fracture or sprain.
Arthritis which causes the inflammation of membranes that lines and lubricates joints can also lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. As arthritic symptoms are made worse with damp and cold weather, emotional stress, and excessive application of weight, the same agents may also trigger the pain felt when afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Excessive salt intake during pregnancy which leads to water retention and consequently cause bloating and swelling in the joints, including the wrist, could also lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The pain resulting from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may at first be bearable. But once untreated, the condition could worsen. This could eventually lead to weakness and muscle atrophy. The person afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be unable to lift objects or make a fist.
Effective therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome includes drug intake, exercise, rest, therapy, and chiropractic care. Aspirin which is commonly prescribed for arthritis may be taken as this not only reduces the pain, but reduces the swelling, as well. However, pregnant women should first consult with their physicians before taking in any form of medication.
Regular wrist, elbow, and joint exercises, light massages, as well as the application of warm moist heat may also help relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. However, it is important to consult a physician or chiropractor, especially if the pain persists and recurs as surgery may be necessary in extreme cases.