Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In the United States, 1 out of every 20 people will suffer from the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome at some point in their lives. Out of this 5%, women are the most vulnerable and 3 times more likely to develop the condition in comparison to males. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also most common in middle aged and elderly individuals, with over 80% of patients over 40 years of age.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is believed to occur when the median nerve traveling through the carpal tunnel of the wrist is entrapped or compressed. The carpal tunnel is a passageway within the wrist that connects the forearm to the palm. This tunnel consists of bones, several tendons and connective tissue. This tunnel is also rather narrow and when any tendons passing through it swell, the narrowing of the tunnel often results in the median nerve becoming entrapped or compressed.

The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are a variety of symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but the condition typically causes pain and discomfort, muscle weakness and a sensation of numbness or tingling in the hand. More specifically the most common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel syndrome include:

  • Hand and wrist pain or discomfort

  • A Tingling sensation in the fingers

  • Numbness in the fingers or hand

  • A sense of weakness in the hands

  • Pain radiating from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder

The Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The underlying causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are relatively unknown and genetic factors may be the leading cause of the condition. However, some common systemic conditions that can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include hypothyroidism, obesity, arthritis, diabetes and trauma.

Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Possible treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include splinting or bracing, corticosteroid injection, activity modification, anti inflammatory medications and surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament.

Immobilizing Braces for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The importance of wrist braces and wrist splints for reducing the amount of discomfort caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is well known, but many people are unwilling to use these orthotic devices on a regular basis. However, wrist braces and splints have become lighter, cheaper and more comfortable in recent years making this form of treatment more desirable. For example, Ossur makes a Carpal Tunnel wrist brace that features a lightweight low profile design that limits motion, but maintains a high level of comfort. In addition, Swede-O manufactures several wrist braces for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that not only limits movement, but also provides the added benefits of heat therapy.

About MMAR Medical: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of medical devices and comfort footwear for diabetics. Whether you are looking for hinged knee braces, back braces or carpal tunnel wrist supports, MMAR Medical has the highest quality products and professional expertise to find you what you need.

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