Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that affects the wrists and hands. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes compressed. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the affected hand. This can make everyday tasks such as typing and writing difficult. Carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly caused by repetitive motion of the wrist or by prolonged pressure on it. Other factors can contribute to this condition, including pregnancy, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and hormonal changes associated with menopause or hypothyroidism. Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome usually begins with lifestyle modifications such as avoiding activities that cause wrist or hand strain and using proper ergonomics when working on a computer or any other task that requires repetitive motions. Wrist splints may also be prescribed to keep your wrist in a neutral position while you sleep. For more severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome where symptoms do not improve with lifestyle modifications or splints alone, medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to reduce inflammation in the area and provide relief from pain and discomfort. In extreme cases where these methods fail to provide relief from symptoms surgery may be recommended to help relieve pressure on your median nerve by cutting through ligaments that form part of your carpal tunnel at the base of your palm. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can have a significant impact on quality of life if left untreated so it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of its symptoms so prompt treatment can begin before any permanent damage develops in your median nerve tissue due to prolonged compression.