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Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented

Nerve Pain Exercise: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While some people may be at a higher risk because of pre-existing health or medical issues, preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is possible. Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks, change positions, and use corrective devises such as cushions or supports that reduce pressure on the median nerve. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to lower the likelihood of developing diabetes, risk of injury, and promote overall health can also reduce the risk of developing CTS.

If you experience symptoms that are acute or worsen over time, contact your medical practitioner and discuss any signs or symptoms that are causing pain in your arm, wrist or hand.

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Pain In Your Hand & Upper Arm Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

February 6, 2009 by Kathryn Merrow

Pain from trigger points runs in typical patterns.

If you have pain in your upper arm and hand that meets the following pattern, there is a fairly easy fix.

Sometimes the muscles that are causing symptoms are deep inside the body, hidden under bones or other muscles. But, the cause of this pain pattern is on the outside of your shoulder blade, so that makes “treating” it easy.

When I give directions for locating pain on your arm or body, like “outside” or “front,” that means you are standing or seated with your thumbs rotated outward or away from your body. Your thumbs are pointed away from you, sideways. Your palms are facing forward. Then “outside” or “front” always means the same thing, because we are all in the same position.

Here’s the pain pattern:

The most painful area is usually on the outside of your upper arm and on the front side of your upper arm, through your bicep muscle. A lesser amount of pain runs down your arm as far as the fingers That pain is usually felt on both the back side and the palm side of the hand and arm.

You might also have quite a bit of pain on the spine side of your shoulder blade. You might also have head or neck pain at the base of your skull on the same side as the painful arm. Pain in both of these areas is caused by trigger points in the muscle on your shoulder blade and it will go away when the trigger point is resolved

What’s a trigger point?

A trigger point is a hyper-irritable place

Aetiology And Risk Factors

The size of structures passing through the carpal tunnel play an important part in predisposition for CTS. Factors contributing to the development of CTS can be divided into those affecting the container or those affecting the contents of the carpal tunnel.

Factors affecting the container include instances where the diameter of the carpal tunnel is too small . On a population level, there is natural variation in the size of the carpal tunnel. Female gender is associated with a smaller carpal archand increased risk of CTS. Fractures of the carpal bones or radial head and inflammation owing to arthritis may also affect the diameter of the carpal tunnel.

Factors affecting the contents of the carpal tunnel include pathologies where the structures within the tunnel are increased in size, such as flexor tendon hypertrophy. This can occur because of exposure to vibrating tools or machinery . Tendon hypertrophy can also occur secondary to repetitive hand movements and computer work, or previous injury, such as a wrist fracture. Pregnancy, renal failure and hypothyroidism can also cause a change to the contents of the carpal tunnel by causing a shift in fluid distribution. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and gout can cause metabolic tenosynovitis, resulting in inflammation to the flexor tendons of the forearm.

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What It Feels Like

What carpal tunnel syndrome feels likefrom one person to the next is always a bit different. But symptoms usually follow a distinct pattern.

Most times, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start outgradually. Actually, most people don’t even notice them in the beginning. For example, you may sense unusual feelings in your hand or fingers like tingling, numbness, burning or itching. Any of these can happen in any finger except the little finger . They’re often more intense in the thumb and index fingers.

You might pass off these feelings as over-tired hands. You might think you just aggravated something or over-stressed your hands while doing simple tasks. That could be the case. But it also might be the beginning of mild stagecarpal tunnel syndrome. Neglecting these warning signs can be risky.

A big problem with mild carpal tunnel syndrome is that you don’t feel the symptoms while working your hands. Instead, symptoms most often appear only when your hand isresting, like when you’re trying to sleep. That makes you think it’s not such a big deal.

In fact, the beginning symptoms seem more like an inconvenience while you’re trying to sleep. Oftentimes, patients have to wake up to shake out their numb hands. Or sometimes pain will wake them up from a dead sleep. This stage usually lasts only a couple months.Then it progresses even further.

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

People with improperly-managed thyroid conditions may retain excess fluid in their connective tissues. This contributes to inflammation within the wrist, which can cause CTS, especially if left untreated. Hypothyroidism is particularly linked to CTS, but people with hyperthyroidism are also more likely to develop CTS than the general population.

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When To See A Doctor

Tingling and numbness can result from a number of medical conditions.

If a person suspects that they or someone near them is having a heart attack or a stroke, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Other symptoms for which a person should seek medical attention include:

  • lasting, sudden, or worsening loss of sensation in the hand
  • obvious physical deformity of the hand or arm
  • pain that gets worse instead of better
  • progressive weakness

If a person is concerned about any symptoms related to unusual sensations in their arms or hands, they should see a doctor.

Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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What Is Tennis Elbow And What Causes Tennis Elbow

While caused by many activities, the one most commonly associated with this type of overuse injury is Tennis and other racquet sports.

Ironically, only a small minority of individuals with Tennis Elbow injury and/or pain actually got it from playing tennis.

Typing, knitting, hammering, and other repetitive motion activities are all causes of Tennis Elbow, depending on what exactly and how exactly your are doing the activity.

Golfers Elbow is essentially the same kind of Elbow Tendonitis with the same pain dynamic, but on the opposite side of the elbow/forearm.

If you have a sore elbow, feel around where you are hurting. You will feel some ache and if your press harder, some sharp pain. You will also feel skin on top of a mass of muscle and maybe some harder tissue that is the tendon connecting muscle to the bone of your Lateral Epicondyle.

If you have pain in your elbow and forearm, and even more pain when you try to use your hand/arm, you probably dont need to find out more about Tennis Elbow Symptoms.

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What If These Treatments Dont Help

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Really in Your Neck and Causes Hand, Wrist and Forearm Pain

In some cases, surgery is needed to make the symptoms go away completely. The surgery involves cutting the ligament that may be pressing on your median nerve. Youll usually get back the normal use of your wrist and hand within a few weeks to a few months after surgery.

Doing the hand, wrist, and finger exercises that your doctor tells you to do after surgery is very important. Without exercise, your wrist may get stiff, and you may lose some use of your hand.

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Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cause Pain In The Armpit

June 19, 2010 by Kathryn Merrow

Can your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cause pain in your armpit? Hereâs a switch I mean really a switch.

Your wrist and hand symptoms can be caused by the muscles under your arm. Under your armpit you have muscles that attach from ribs to arm and shoulder. You have muscles in your chest that also attach to your arm.

When these muscles get tight, they can traction down on the nerves that pass through your arm to your hand. The nerves hate being pressed on and so they cause discomfort in your hand.

Although short muscles donât usually complain, the ones under your armpit can be

uncomfortable when they are in a âknotâ or spasm.

The muscles on the side of your back, just behind your armpit, can also be involved . Those muscles can also have pain when they are in spasm or contraction.

So, you see, this is NOT a case of which comes firstthe chicken or the egg.

Even if you were not aware of the armpit pain before your hand pain started, the spasm was most likely already there. It is just becoming tighter with time.

It is very likely that our carpal tunnel pain is a result of that tightness in the muscles under your armpit.

The good news is that you can press into those armpit muscles by yourself. It will be uncomfortable because they are tight. Just keep pressing and feeling and assessing the tightness in those muscles. By pressing into those muscles with your fingers, it mechanically relaxes them.

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Do I Have Carpal Tunnel Or Something Else

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common term that we hear from family and friends when we complain of numbness or pain in the wrist. Its the one condition that seems the most likely cause because its quite well known. However, just because carpal tunnel syndrome is well-known does not mean it is the only condition that causes wrist pain and numbness.

It is important to understand the symptoms of other common conditions that relate to the hand and wrist, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, to rule out other possibilities.

In this article, we will cover common conditions that cause numbing, tingling, pain, or numbness in the fingers and wrists as well as what you should do if you believe you have one of these conditions.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when pressure is applied to your median nerve by the carpal bones. When swelling happens in your wrist, the carpal tunnel constricts the median nerve causing symptoms to appear. These symptoms could be radiating pain from the forearm to the shoulder, numbness, burning, or tingling starting at the thumb, pinky, or felt within the forearm.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically start slow and are felt mostly at night. This is due to sleeping positions that cause restriction within the wrists. How to tell is if you feel the need to shake your wrist to regain feeling. As the condition worsens, you will begin to feel symptoms during the day while driving, typing, or talking on the phone.

How To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome At Home

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So I asked my doctor how to speed up my recovery so I could take off my support brace.

He told me to do some exercises that involved stretching, circular movements, and soft massage.

Stretching involves moving your wrists forward and backwards until you feel a little stretch.

Users can also stretch their wrists side to side while holding them in place for a few seconds then release.

Circular movements of the wrist can be done by rotating the hands clockwise and counterclockwise.

Finally, softly massage your wrists starting from the bottom arm all the way to the fingers.

Then, massage from the upper forearm, down to the fingers. This activity helps blood flow to the hand.

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Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Tingling and numbness in palm, thumb, or first two fingers, especially during the night or in the morning. The sensation may cause people to want to shake out the hand.
  • Aching pain in the wrist and hand, with occasional shooting pains up the forearm
  • Weakness in the hands and fingers and trouble gripping or holding objects

Carpal tunnel syndrome is treated with nonsurgical methods such as splinting, ice therapy, and behavioral modifications. It can also be treated surgically with a procedure called carpal tunnel release.

Signs That Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Starting

As the condition progresses past the moderate stage, you enter the stage of severe carpal tunnel syndrome. This is when symptoms get so bad that patients usually seek professional help.

Patients with severe symptoms often describe their sensations as “extreme”. The symptoms are so intense and all-consuming that they interfere with every aspect of life. Doctors often hear patients say…

“It’s so bad I want to cut my hand off!”

Patients often look back to a time when symptoms were merely annoying or bothersome. Now they’re making work, sleep, play, and rest miserable or even impossible.

Also with severe carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s common for patients to feel symptoms either radiate or “shoot” up the arm. Usually, it’s the pain symptom that does this. And it might feel likeshooting electric shocks.The forearm may even feel tender almost up to the elbow. In rarer cases, pain or tenderness can travel past the elbow, up the arm, and into the shoulder.

In the severe stage, most patients have catastrophic loss of finger dexterity and grip strength. They tend to drop things like drinking glasses or beverage bottles. Many find itimpossibleto perform simple tasks like opening a jar, picking up coins, buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces or writing with a pen. Having the strength to turn a doorknob or open a car door is practically lost.

This is the very definition of severe carpal tunnel syndrome because it definitely “interferes with your life”.

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How Common Is A Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves are common every year about 85 out of 100,000 adults in the United States are affected by pinched nerves. People of any age can experience pinched nerves, but those aged 50 and older are most likely to have them, due to arthritis and degeneration in the spine and other parts of the body.

Health Issues That May Cause Carpal Tunnel Problems

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Pain

There are several unique health conditions that may lead to the onset of problems with the carpal tunnel region. These are as follows:

  • Those that experience issues with the tendons in the wrist, such as swelling, inflammation, and other types of irritation are at a high risk for developing carpal tunnel problems.
  • Changes with the hormones or the unique metabolic balance of the body such as pregnancy and/or issues with the thyroid could result in CTS.
  • Injuries that directly impact the wrist like sprains, dislocations, and even fractures may place immense pressure on the carpal tunnel and cause hand, arm, and shoulder problems.
  • Retaining fluid in the body due to other conditions, such as pregnancy, diabetes, and issues with the endocrine system may increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel.
  • Arthritis and/or degenerative disorders in the body are known to cause carpal tunnel problems.
  • In addition to the health issues that may lead to CTS, certain types of medications such as steroids may also result in severe pressure in the carpal tunnel in the wrist.

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What Is Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms in the hand and arm. This condition develops when a nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway leading to your wrist . This nerve is called the median nerve.

Some people seem to have a higher risk of carpal tunnel, possibly due to the anatomy of the wrist. When you perform repetitive tasks using one hand or wrist, this can put excess pressure on the median nerve. This creates pressure causing symptoms like tingling and numbness in the hand and arm. The pain can travel up the forearm, even to the shoulder and elsewhere.

Causes of carpal tunnel include:

  • Repetitive motions especially if your hands are lower than your wrist.
  • Conditions like diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pregnancy

In fact, there is is no single cause. A combination of factors likely leads to developing this condition.

Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture, for example, can narrow the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve. The inflammation and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis can also contribute.

One thing is certain, women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers believe this is because the carpal tunnel area is smaller in women than it is in men. And some women have smaller carpal tunnels than others do.

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