Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) causes pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers.
You often feel these pins and needles at night and you will feel the need to ‘shake’ the hand, which usually relieves the symptoms after a few minutes.
Sensations of pain and pins and needles in the hand will be noticed mostly in the thumb, index finger and middle finger. You might experience thumb weakness and a dull ache in your hand.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve that controls sensation and movement in the hands.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist made up of small bones and a tough band of tissue. It acts as a pulley for the tendons that bend the fingers.
It isn’t known why the median nerve becomes compressed in most cases, although certain things are thought to increase the risk of CTS developing, such as:
- a family history of CTS
- pregnancy – up to about 50% of pregnant women develop CTS
- injuries to the wrist
- other health conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- strenuous, repetitive work with the hand
However, it is now thought that 90% of all CTS patients have nerve root irritation in their neck!
In some cases CTS will disappear without treatment, or simple self-care measures will reduce the symptoms.
CTS in pregnant women often gets better within three months of the baby being born. However, in some women, symptoms can continue for more than a year and require treatment.
Non-surgical treatments, such as wrist splints and corticosteroid injections, are often used to treat mild or moderate symptoms.
In more severe cases of CTS, surgery is usually required to reduce the pressure on the median nerve.
However, bearing in mind that 90% of patients have nerve root irritation in the neck – you can see that treatment by a chiropractor in Southampton at the Avenue Clinic might be very helpful in reducing your symptoms.
We will also check your posture and give you tips to reduce the likelihood of the condition recurring. Call us now if you have CTS!