Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve disorder that causes pain and numbness in the hands and wrists. It can also affect range of motion and mobility, making it painful and difficult to perform daily tasks. It affects 4-10 million adults in the United States according to the American College of Rheumatology.
Several factors contribute to and increase your risk of carpal tunnel. Some are preventable, so there are a few things you can do to lower your risk. Our team of pain management experts at Republic Spine and Pain offers carpal tunnel treatment options at three convenient locations in Georgetown, Leander, and Austin, Texas.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which controls movement and sensation in the hands and wrists, becomes compressed.
The common signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that most people experience include:
Pain sometimes extends to the arm and shoulder.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common occupational injury in professions that involve repetitive motions like typing, packing products, cashier, painting, or any activity where the hand and wrists repeat the same motion over and over again over an extended period. You can also develop carpal tunnel from playing an instrument or hobbies like knitting.
Your median nerve can also get compressed from pressure on the palm.
Health factors like arthritis, gout, and diabetes can also play a role in developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Factors like pregnancy and menopause-related hormones and a smaller carpal tunnel (where the median nerve passes through the wrists and into the hands) may account for higher rates in women.
If you smoke and develop carpal tunnel syndrome, your symptoms may be more severe.
If your job involves repetitive motions that put you at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s essential to take regular breaks and keep your wrists and hands in alignment while you work. Try not to bend your wrists if possible, keeping them in a neutral position.
Stretching throughout the day is also a good way to lower your risk. Try making a fist and then stretching out your hand and fingers for 5-10 repetitions.
Good posture is also important to minimize your risk of injury and pain in your wrists, neck, and back.
If you develop pain or other symptoms, like numbness or loss of dexterity in one or both hands, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for an exam. We offer several treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on the severity of your symptoms, including braces, physical therapy, and nerve blocks.
For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome prevention and treatment, contact Republic Spine and Pain today to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist at one of our three convenient locations in Austin, Leander, and Georgetown, Texas.