Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Uses

Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

  • None

Other Proposed Natural Treatments

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common and often disabling condition most often associated with data entry and general computer use, but it can affect anyone who performs repetitive hand motions. CTS occurs in women more often than men and is a relatively common temporary complication of pregnancy (due to fluid retention). It also occurs frequently among people with rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes . CTS is caused by compression of the median nerve. On its way to the hand, the median nerve passes through an opening in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Constant, repetitive hand motion may aggravate the ligaments and tendons encased in the tunnel, causing them to swell. As the tunnel walls close in, they compress the median nerve. This causes tingling and numbness in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. The discomfort of CTS often wakes people during the night and eventually makes it difficult to grasp small objects. Most instances of CTS are job-related. Paying attention to proper ergonomics is essential for preventing CTS. This might involve repositioning a computer keyboard or taking breaks more often. Conventional medical treatment for more stubborn CTS cases is variable in its success. Splinting the affected hand, especially at night, may help reduce symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications , such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may help slightly. Surgery is considered the ultimate treatment, but corticosteroid injections may be equally or slightly more effective. 9-10 In some cases, a person with work-related CTS may have no choice but to change vocation.

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