Carpal tunnel syndrome is by far the most common repetitive stress injury (RSI). RSIs occur due to stress within certain areas of the body, caused by performing the same movements again and again. By far the most common type of RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury occurs in the wrist as a result of a strain to the median nerve. Injuries such as these can be a result of anything from sports, to work. But what causes it? And are there any symptoms to keep an eye out for?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms
Carpal tunnel takes place when you place repeated stress on the median nerve located in the wrist. Surrounding the wrist bone, rests fibrous tissue which helps support the bone. The carpal tunnel exists in the tight space between this tissue and the bone. Throughout that space, the median nerve passes in order to receive sensations from the fingers and hand. But when any action causes swelling or position change to that tissue, it can irritate that nerve.
Once this nerve becomes irritated, it can cause painful symptoms. First of all, you may experience numbness throughout your thumb and fingers. In addition to numbness, you can expect tingling that can sometimes be painful. For most people, these symptoms can become worse at night and wake them while sleeping. Some believe this is due to how a person may flex their wrist while sleeping.
Treating the Symptoms
For many people, this injury is a direct result of requirements at their job. Most any job that requires repeated movements of the hands and wrist can eventually lead to this issue. For example, performing an office job in which you must type at a computer for long hours can cause this injury. Therefore, you may be able to receive worker’s comp benefits to help meet your needs.
While most treatment options are not too severe, you will still need to see a doctor in order to know how to proceed. For some people, treatment can be as simple as wearing a brace and using ice, heat, and over-the-counter medication. But, others may need to take time away from those duties in order to recover.
Whatever your recovery method may be, it’s important that your employer honor that— if it is a work injury. But, if this is an injury you received on your own time, it’s important to ensure recovery for yourself. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a debilitating issue, or it can be something you work through on your own. Ultimately, it’s all in seeking out proper treatment. We wish you luck!