Family Non-Fiction posted March 9, 2015


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A brief discussion of the ailment

Pain And Numbness Of Carpal Tunnel

by Brett Matthew West

Frequently first recognized by waking up at night due to the symptoms of the ailment Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painfully progressive condition that occurs when the median nerves in the forearms are compressed at the wrists leading to muscle weaknesses, numbness, and a paresthesia tingling or prickly feeling of the skin.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be associated with such things as arm bone fractures, carpal bone dislocations, blunt trauma to the wrists, internal wrists hemorrhages, deformities, electrical burns, acromegaly, tumors, and obesity.

Found in the wrists carpal tunnels are surrounded on three sides by bones, ligaments on the fourth side, nine tendons, and the median nerve that passes through the canal. Depressing the median nerve, and enlarging the tissues of the nerves found there, decreases the canal's size creating the pain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome produces.

Compression of the median nerve in the transverse carpal ligament, a strong band that arches over the carpus, positioning the hand and allowing use of the flexor tendons, may cause decreased use of the thenar eminence muscles on the palm, the flexor pollicis brevis muscle that flexes the thumb, the opponens pollicis muscle that opposes the thumb's flexibility, and the abductor pollicis brevis muscle that moves the thumb anteriorly to the palm.

Predominantly idiopathic with no known causes almost all cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be genetically predispositioned to develop. Pregnancy, trauma, hypothyroidism, multiple myelomas, white blood cell cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, mucopolysaccharidoses, metabolic disorders, edema, neoplastic tumor growths, amyloid protein deposits in organs and tissues, and possibly repetitive ongoing work motions such as keyboard typing, or guitar string strumming that are cumulative in nature, may be additional causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Displaying at night because of the bent wrist position during sleep compressing the carpal tunnels early warning symptoms of the ailment may gradually increase affecting the middle and index fingers, the thumbs, and the palms. Other symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may include repeatedly dropping items held, decreased sweating of the hands, and a "falling asleep" sensation in the hands.

Electrophysiological testing of cells and tissues is the recognized standard diagnosis for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Other tools used to diagnose the ailment may include Phalen's Tests, Tinel's Sign Tests, Durkan Tests, physical examinations, medical and family histories, nerve conduction studies, electromyographic evaluations of muscle signal activities, MRIs, ultrasounds, and the Robinson Combined Sensory Index that produces superior sensitivity and specificity for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Effectively preventing nerve damage, and relieving symptoms patients may experience, Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery is the definitive treatment for the condition. Physical therapies, occupational therapies, steroid injections, splinting and bracing the wrists, life style changes, soft tissue massages, anti-inflammatory drugs, conservative exercises, proper positioning while using keyboards to reduce stress on the wrists, and cortisone injections may be other treatment options considered to alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Various studies conducted show women are three times more likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than men, the dominant hand is usually affected first producing more severe pain, Diabetics are at a high risk for contracting the ailment, and the condition is more prevalent among assembly line workers than data entry personnel.

The Phalen's Test for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is conducted by flexing the wrists as far as the patient gently can and holding them for sixty seconds to determine if numbness in the median nerve occurs while pushing the palms of both hands together.

The Reverse Phalen's Test for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has the patient extend their wrists and fingers downward and hold the position for two minutes attempting to increase the carpal tunnel pressure throughout the test.

The Tinel's Sign Test for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome irritates nerves by lightly tapping them to attempt to trigger tingling sensations in the index finger, the middle finger, and the thumb.

The Durkan's Test for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, that is commonly known as the Carpal Compression Test, applies pressure on the carpal tunnel and median nerve and may be a more sensitive and specific examination for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than the Phalen's Test and the Tinel Sign Test are.


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Thanks lilacCollis for the use of your picture. It goes very nicely with my article.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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