While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is closely associated with office work, the truth of the matter is that many people can develop it doing all kinds of activities beyond simply using a computer and mouse for hours a day. Often, figuring out the root cause of someone’s wrist and hand pain is the first step to solving the problem, and below, we’re going to briefly cover some of the most common reasons people suffer from this condition.
The median nerve runs all the way down your arm, through your wrist, and into your hand. In order to travel through all the bone, ligaments, and muscles of the wrist, it uses the Carpal Tunnel, which is literally a small opening. If the tissues of the Carpal Tunnel become irritated or inflamed, they can press on the nerve, creating the pain and tingling sensation in the wrist and hand common with the syndrome. What causes this to happen? In most cases, it’s brought on by:
Performing the same wrist and hand motions every day for hours at a time can put tremendous stress on the Carpal Tunnel and cause it to become swollen and even damaged. Working at a computer every day is known to cause this, but so is construction and assembly work. It’s particularly prevalent among athletes who play tennis, golf, and baseball as well. If you watch any of these sports, chances are many of the athletes have encountered this condition!
Any injury that causes swelling in the wrist can lead to a constriction of the Carpal Tunnel, which can compress the nerve and create chronic pain and stiffness.
Just like how people can be tall or short depending on their genetics, the shape and size of the Carpal Tunnel are based on heredity as well. Some people naturally have a narrower one or are more prone to developing inflammation that can affect the delicate nerve.
A woman’s hormone levels shift drastically during pregnancy, and this can sometimes cause swelling and fluid retention in the joints. If this occurs in the wrist, it can result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Common medical conditions that cause swelling or reduced blood flow have also been shown to be precursors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The primary ones include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid dysfunction.
Fortunately, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome responds very well to conservative treatment, including activity modification, rest, and wearing a brace. For more serious cases, the team at Valley Sports Physicians can apply several regenerative medicine techniques to help heal the Carpal Tunnel and relieve pressure from the nerve. These include nerve hydrodissection, PRP injections, prolotherapy, and stem cell therapy to name a few. As a last resort, surgery can be a solution as well, but this is quite rare.
Ready to get to the bottom of your wrist and hand pain and make it stop for good? That’s exactly our goal here at Valley Sports Physicians, and we can’t wait to put you on the road to recovery. To schedule an appointment with our practice, call today