What Should I Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
People use their hands for various things. Some use them to draw out their imagination on paper, while others write down the numbers their minds computed. Well, regardless of what they do, their hands will help them get things done.
But what if either one or both hands develop pain? Can one still do the things they always do? Yes, but they will have a hard time using them! That is the case for those who have carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition affects both the wrist and hand. As such, using them causes discomfort, making one unable to use their hands properly.
Just a quick fact, carpal tunnel syndrome is not only common in Singapore but also worldwide. As stated in this study, 3 to 6% of adults can develop this condition. That is why it is no surprise if you or someone you know already has one.
To make things clear and make sure you understand what this condition is and what you should do, read the rest of the article.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that happens due to the pressure pressing the meridian nerve. Just in case you are not aware, you can find this meridian nerve around the upper limbs, specifically the arm. And the reason why it considerably affects the wrist and hands.
In other words, people can move their hands because of the meridian nerve and pressuring it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. It happens in these ways:
- Performing the same motions all over again, such as typing on the computer.
- You are overweight or obese.
- You have diabetes.
- You are pregnant.
All of these have in common; pressing the meridian nerve, both in normal and natural means.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Those people who have carpal tunnel syndrome rarely know they have this condition. Most of them thought it did not mean anything. Little did they know that if left untreated, it could lead to nerve damage.
That is why most doctors recommend getting hand surgery in Singapore when they notice their patient has had this condition for a long time, and it is already worse.
To prevent that, you should see a hand doctor once you experience any of these symptoms:
- Burning, itching, and tingling sensation around the palm or fingers.
- Losing grip when holding things.
- Shaking hands out to relieve numbness or tingling.
- Experiencing electric shock when moving the arms up.
Who Are At Risks of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is so common in Singapore due to its various risk factors. Some may not directly cause the condition, but it can increase the possibility of developing one.
In other words, you are most likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome if you:
- You are a woman since they have smaller carpal tunnels.
- You have a job that requires you to do repetitive motions such as sewing clothes, baking pastries, managing the cash register, playing music or writing blogs.
- You dislocated or fractured your wrist.
How to Know If I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Myself?
If you are too afraid to see and consult a hand doctor in Singapore, you may do the physical examination yourself. All you need to do is follow the instructions listed below.
- Make sure you hold out your arms in front of you.
- Then flex your wrist by moving your hands up and down without moving your arms.
- Next, hang your hands down for one minute.
- If you feel numb or tingle within that period, there is a high chance you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Make sure before you do the physical examination, your hands are well rested and have not done any other work.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
Unlike doing the physical examination yourself, the hand doctor in Singapore diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome differently.
Besides tapping where the meridian nerve is with a reflex hammer, they will use another equipment called Electromyography (EMG). It is a device that can transmit a bit of electrical activity to stimulate the nerve. If you feel the tingling sensation, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
But to further check your actual condition, some hand doctors may ask you to get imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI. This method can show arthritis or broken bones which can help the hand doctor access if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
REMINDER: If you are not comfortable getting check by the opposite sex, you may request a female hand surgeon, vice versa.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
Every hand doctor treats carpal tunnel syndrome differently, depending on the person’s condition. But in most cases, the treatment procedures are divided into three:
WEAR A SPLINT.
A splint is a supportive device also known as a wrist brace. Wearing this will keep the wrist from moving and lessens the pressure in the meridian nerve. As a result, the numbness or tingling sensation disappears, helping the person fall asleep.
But before that result happens, they have to wear the splint for five to twelve weeks.
To reduce the swelling and discomfort, the hand doctor will also ask the patient to drink anti-inflammatory medicine or steroids. Most of the time, the drugs they recommend taking are ibuprofen or aspirin.
REMINDER: Before you take any of these medications, make sure to consult with a hand doctor. They might recommend other drugs that work better and are more suitable for your condition.
If the first two methods do not work, the hand doctor will suggest their patients undergo hand surgery in Singapore. In most cases, it happens when they have been suffering from this condition for a long time. Doing this procedure may prevent them from permanent nerve damage.
But anyone who would undergo hand surgery should know that the recovery time might take several months. That is why some hand doctors recommend physical therapy after the wound has healed.
If you think you need to see a hand doctor in Singapore, book an appointment with Advanced Hand, Wrist & Nerve Centre. They can help your hands feel better in no time!