How Do You Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel pain is caused by repetitive motion, poor position, or excessive use of the hands and wrists. In many cases, this is related to a persons job. However, certain medical conditions or genetic factors can also put a person at greater risk for developing carpal tunnel.
Some of the most frequent conditions linked with carpal tunnel syndrome are diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or, fractures or trauma to the wrist.
Swelling inside your wrist, and possibly repetitive hand motions, can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common cause of this inflammation is an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist and sometimes obstructed blood flow.
What Are The Most Common Video Game Injuries
The most common video game injuries we see are gamers thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. However, the world of video games is more expansive than just console games. Doug breaks common video game injuries into 4 main categories:
- Console video game injuries. These are the most common injuries that bring gamers into the clinic. Most common injuries include gamers thumb and tennis elbow.
- Computer video game injuries. These injuries are consistent with desk-job injuries, with carpal tunnel syndrome being the most common.
- Wii Sports & active video game injuries. Its true you can develop the same injuries as tennis, soccer, bowling, etc. by playing the esport equivalent. We encourage active game players to follow the same prevention techniques as athletes playing that sport. Make sure to warm up properly, keep good form , and keep up strength and mobility work. And remember to take a break since you wont get as winded or play as long as if you were really playing the sport.
- Virtual reality video game injuries. Virtual reality has opened up a whole new world of video game experience where players are fully immersed in the game. While doing this, faces and eyes are covered, and players are unable to see whats around them. There has since been a surge in falls and acute injuries in virtual reality players that weve seen in our clinics.
Whats The Difference Between Cubital Tunnel And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the level of the wrist. Like the ulnar nerve, the median nerve has sensory and motor parts, so the symptoms can be both sensory or motor. As the compression occurs at the wrist, the elbow position does not usually affect symptoms. However, in atypical cases, instead of pain shooting from the wrist into the fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain shooting up from the wrist toward the elbow.The median nerve supplies a different part of the hand. The thumb, index finger, and middle finger are most commonly affected. The motor part of the median nerve supplies the small muscles of the thumb so muscle wasting from damage to this nerve can cause weakness of pinch grip and may result in dropping objects.Not everyone is wired the same so sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome can affect all the fingers of the hand, but this would be considered atypical.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome From Gaming
Carpal tunnel syndrome is most well known as the desk-job injury. Theres been a lot of research and literature about setting your desk up properly and using the right keyboard setup to avoid this injury.However, theres less information out there regarding carpal tunnel from gaming. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most prominent esport injuries, and it can affect all types of gamers.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Additionally, maintaining a good set-up with your computer or gaming system is very important. If youre using a keyboard, invest in one that is ideal for long periods of use. Also, make sure your wrists are elevated above your fingers. Consider a standing set-up with your gaming console, and make sure youre using controls designed for long periods of use. Have you been experiencing pain playing during or after gaming? Schedule a free 15-minute injury assessment to determine if you might be suffering from gamers thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tennis elbow.
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Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive use of hand/wrist. Long periods of steady hand movement. Repeated vibration. Repeated grasping, turning, twisting.Tenex® ESA WILL REDUCE DOWNTIME ON THE JOB DUE TO WORK-RELATED REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIEAccording to the Wall Street Journal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports 60% of workplace health disorders involve repetitive motion.
Those most likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome
What Are The Main Symptoms
The ulnar nerve is also sometimes called the funny bone nerve. Where the ulnar nerve crosses the elbow, there is very little fat and subcutaneous tissue, meaning the nerve is closer to the surface of the skin and more sensitive. Hence, if a person hits their inner elbow, the sensation can resemble an electric shock.
Most people with cubital tunnel syndrome experience symptoms that may include:
- numbness, pain, and weakness in the arm, forearm, and fingers
- weakened or reduced grip
- waking at night from pain or numbness in the hands or fingers, especially the pinky and ring fingers
- difficulty bending and straightening the fingers
- difficulty manipulating things with the hands or fingers
- muscle loss at the base of the small fingers
The symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome usually get much worse when the elbow is bent for a long time or compressed.
- driving for a long time
- driving with the arm resting on an open window
Additional home treatment to try can include the following:
For most cases of cubital tunnel syndrome, a doctor will prescribe a splint or padded elbow brace for people to wear at night.
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Tennis Elbow From Gaming
Dont let this name fool you gamers suffer from tennis elbow fairly frequently, and not just as a result of too much time playing Wii Tennis.In fact, tennis elbow is a common injury resulting from any repetitive wrist and arm movement, as well as activities that engage your grip, like weightlifting, gymnastics, and you guessed it, esports.
How To Avoid Elbow Pain Caused By Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
As you read this, are you sitting at your computer with your elbows bent at ninety degrees or more? Do you always hold your cell as you talk or sleep at night with an elbow bent?
If you answered yes to either of these, you may be at risk for cubital tunnel syndrome. In truth, you may already be suffering from it. If so, here are a few ways you can avoid pain caused by cubital tunnel syndrome!
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Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow
If youve been experiencing pain in your elbow and forearms due to prolonged video game use or any other repetitive motion, its possible youre suffering from tennis elbow. Tennis elbow typically causes pain and weakness during your preferred activity as well as the following everyday tasks:
- Shaking hands
- Turning a doorknob
- Holding a coffee cup
Doug shows a quick assessment he does to determine if a patient is suffering from tennis elbow:If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend making an appointment with a certified physical therapist to assess your injury.
Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Elbow Pain
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Key Points About Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a problem with the ulnar nerve, which passes through the inside of the elbow. It causes pain that feels a lot like the pain you feel when you hit the “funny bone” in your elbow.
Cubital tunnel syndrome may happen when a person frequently bends the elbows, leans on their elbow a lot, or has an injury to the area. Arthritis, bone spurs, and previous fractures or dislocations of the elbow can also cause it. In many cases, the cause is not known.
The most common symptom of cubital tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and/or ring and little finger, especially when the elbow is bent.
Cubital tunnel syndrome can be treated with rest and medicines to help with pain and inflammation. Exercises may help too. In some cases, surgery may be done.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
The following are the most common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Numbness and tingling in the hand and/or ring and little finger, especially when the elbow is bent
Weak grip and clumsiness due to muscle weakness in the affected arm and hand
Aching pain on the inside of the elbow
The symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may resemble other medical conditions or problems, including medial epicondylitis . Always see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Hand Wrist And Elbow Pain
The hand, wrist, and elbow are very complex, requiring special attention. If you suffer from an injury, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other painful conditions of the hand, wrist, or elbow, we can help.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you suffer from tingling or numbness to the thumb and first two fingers or have pain in this area, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome . Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that affects people of all ages, but occurs more in women between the ages of 30-64 years old. In addition, women who are pregnant often suffer with CTS. If you type, write, or do repetitive lifting or gripping throughout the day you are at greater risk for developing CTS.
The good news is that our expert physical therapists have years of experience and training treating people with CTS. There are several therapeutic options for quickly relieving the symptoms, reducing the inflammation, and relieving the pressure on the median nerve. In addition, for long-term results our therapists know the right techniques to gently stretch the carpal ligament and show you how to prevent re-injury. For more information on our specialized programs, call us today to find out how we can help you live pain free.
Recovery After Injury
For more information on how we can treat your hand, wrist and elbow pain, call us today!
Some of the Many Hand, Wrist and Elbow Conditions We Treat:
- Fractures of the wrist, hand, or elbow
- Tennis or Golfers Elbow
What Is The Treatment
Treating radial tunnel syndrome can be frustrating, for you and your doctor. Getting your symptoms under control and helping you regain the use of your elbow can be a challenge.
Nonsurgical Treatment:The most important part of your treatment is to avoid the activity that caused the problem in the first place. You need to avoid repetitive activities that require your wrist to be repeatedly bent backwards. Repeated use of the wrist in twisting motions also make the problem worse. If your work tasks caused your condition, you need to modify your work site or your duties. This is crucial for treatment to be successful. You need to take frequent breaks as you work and play. You also need to limit heavy pushing, pulling, and grasping. If symptoms are worse at night, you may want to wear a lightweight plastic arm splint while you sleep. This limits your elbow movements at night and eases further irritation. This may let the elbow rest, giving the nerve time to recover from irritation and pressure. Doctors commonly refer their patients with radial tunnel syndrome for physiotherapy. At first, your therapist will give you tips on how to rest your elbow and how to do your activities without putting extra strain on your elbow. Your therapist may apply ice and electrical stimulation to ease pain. Exercises are used to gradually stretch and strengthen the forearm and muscles.
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Why It Happens And Whos At Risk
Ulnar nerve compression can occur in people who hold their elbow bent more than 90 degrees for long periods of time. Bending your elbow repeatedly, sleeping with your elbow bent, or prolonged leaning on your elbow can also cause cubital tunnel syndrome.
People who have fractured or dislocated their elbow or who have bone spurs or swelling in the elbow are at increased risk of ulnar nerve compression. Diabetes is probably the most commonly associated disease, says Dr. Evans.
Cubital tunnel syndrome can also be caused by joint damage from arthritis. However, cubital tunnel syndrome is a very late occurrence in the course of arthritis, which is uncommon at the elbow.
If you think that you may have cubital tunnel syndrome, see your doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order nerve conduction studies to identify where the nerve is being compressed. X-rays may be taken to detect visible causes of compression, such as bone spurs or elbow arthritis.
Tight Fascia In Your Forearms Can Cause A Variety Of Issues From Grip Problems To Wrist Pain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome To Golfers Elbow
Were going after TWO areas today: the fascia in both sides of your forearm. Were targeting the fascia within and between all the flexors AND extensors of the wrist and hand.
This fascia will affect joints upstream AND downstream, potentially causing carpal tunnel or wrist pain as well as elbow pain and even shoulder issues.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
If your CTS is getting worse and other treatments have not worked, the GP might refer you to a specialist to discuss surgery.
Surgery usually cures CTS. You and your specialist will decide together if its the right treatment for you.
An injection numbs your wrist so you do not feel pain and a small cut is made in your hand. The carpal tunnel inside your wrist is cut so it no longer puts pressure on the nerve.
The operation takes around 20 minutes and you do not have to stay in hospital overnight.
It can take a month after the operation to get back to normal activities.
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Treatment & Recovery For Gamers Thumb Or Wrist Pain
Good news! Gamers typically dont require a lot of time off for gamers thumb. Only in severe cases where pain becomes unreasonable and you can no longer maintain your daily activities does Doug recommend a prolonged break from gaming.Physical therapy has proven to be extremely successful in treating gamers thumb and other game-related injuries. Typically your treatment will begin with an assessment of the injury. Your therapist will work with you on some stretching and strengthening exercises. They may also include ice and electronic stim in your treatment plan.Below, youll see some hand exercises for gamers, hand and thumb stretches, and more treatments we do with our patients suffering from gamers thumb.Additionally, Doug mentioned that he has seen an up to 50% increase in recovery with patients by incorporating trigger point dry needling into their therapy. Dry needling uses a tiny needling to quickly release muscle tension Doug refers to it as 30 massages in 30 seconds. Very few hand therapists are also certified in this technique. Doug is one of only a handful in the Phoenix area that is able to incorporate dry needling into his hand therapy treatments.
Related content > > Hand Therapy: Thumb Arthritis and Trigger Point Dry Needling
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Where Does Tennis Elbow Cause Pain
The is focused on the outside of your arm, where your forearm meets your elbow.
Its related to a muscle and tendons in your forearm. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you repeat certain arm movements, the tendons at the elbow end of a certain muscle the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle may get small tears.
The tears may put stress on the rest of your arm, making it painful to lift and grip things. If you dont get treatment, the pain can last a long time.
Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Affect Your Elbow
Although you may think of this syndrome as affecting your hands, fingers, and wrist, the pain can also extend to your elbow. A similar condition called cubital tunnel syndrome can also cause pain or tingling in your elbow when your ulnar nerve is irritated or damaged.
If youre experiencing pain or tingling in your hand, fingers, wrist, or elbow, make an appointment today with Mirza Orthopedics. Well diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend the most effective treatment possible to help you return to your active life, free of pain. If surgery to correct carpal tunnel syndrome is needed, we offer a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure that was developed by Dr. Ather Mirza. It results in a better outcome with less pain, a smaller scar, and quicker recovery.
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What Causes Gamers Thumb Or Wrist
Specifically for video game use, the most common cause is the repetitive motion of console or keyboard play. Engaging in these repetitive motions for a prolonged period of time with little to no real breaks is the most common cause we see.According to Mayo Clinic, there are a few risk factors and groups of people more prone to gamers thumb. Risk factors include:
- Age. Most commonly 30-50 years old.
- Sex. Women are more likely to suffer de Quervains syndrome. However, it is unclear whether that is a genetic predisposition or due to the repetitive motion of picking up a new baby being a primary cause. There is no evidence that suggests women are more likely than men to get this injury from video games.
- Pregnancy. Some evidence suggests a correlation between pregnancy and de Quervains syndrome.