Numb and tingling fingers, shock-like sensations through the hand – these are just a couple of symptoms that may indicate the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition which affects the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers is the result of entrapment or compression of the median nerve as it makes its way through the carpal tunnel of ligament and bone located at the wrist.
Who Gets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Most people commonly associate carpal tunnel syndrome with jobs that require a lot of typing or computer use, and while this type of work is certainly a risk factor, the truth is that carpal tunnel can affect anyone. Risk factors that may impact one’s likelihood to develop the condition include:
- Heredity – Some hereditary traits may result in a smaller carpal tunnel space in some individuals
- Sex – Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. Pregnancy-related hormone changes can also increase risk in women.
- Health Conditions – Other health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism may also contribute to the condition.
- Hand Motion – Repetitive movement of the hand and wrist is among the most heavily weighted factors. Likewise, keeping the hand or wrist in a flexed or extended position for prolonged periods of time can also have a negative impact.
How Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome be Prevented?
While some of the risk factors above are beyond your control, there are ways to mitigate carpal tunnel risk. Considering factors we can control, here are a few key steps that can be taken to help prevent carpal tunnel inflammation and median nerve compression:
- Try to avoid sleeping in any position which would keep your wrist curled or bent.
- If your job requires repetitive wrist or hand motions such as typing, take frequent breaks throughout the day to rest, stretch, and change position.
- Keep an ergonomic work station that promotes good posture and comfortable positioning of the arms, wrists, and hands as you work.
- Maintain a healthy weight through good diet and regular exercise. Obesity can compound other factors and speed the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Focus on maintaining a comfortable grip. It is easy to grip objects like a pencil or pen too tightly which can aggravate symptoms.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Baton Rouge
If you are suffering from bothersome symptoms such as hand or finger pain, numbness, or tingling, contact the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge. Our team of orthopedic physicians includes hand specialists who can quickly help you reach a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan to bring relief.