What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition characterised by pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and wrist. It arises from excessive pressure on the median nerve as it travels through the wrist (carpal tunnel). For most patients, this condition worsens over time if left untreated, resulting in long-term impairment of the hand, reduced sensation in the fingers, and weakness. Therefore, it is crucial to seek prompt carpal tunnel treatment in Singapore.

The carpal tunnel is a small passageway located in the wrist. Several small wrist bones, known as carpal bones, form the floor and walls of the tunnel. This tunnel surrounds the median nerve and the flexor tendons responsible for bending the fingers and thumbs. The median nerve is a major nerve in the hand that provides sensation in the thumb and the index, middle, and thumb sides of the ring fingers, except the small finger (pinky). The flexor tendons of the fingers and thumb also pass through the carpal tunnel along with the nerve.

What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?

Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Numbness, tingling, and discomfort in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Weakness in the hand muscles and difficulty gripping or holding things
  • Pain and burning sensation travelling up the forearm toward the shoulder
  • Shock-like pressures occurring in the thumb and fingers

Early and mild symptoms may be alleviated by simple carpal tunnel syndrome treatments, such as wearing a wrist support, exercising, and avoiding strenuous activities.

What Are the Causes of Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel syndrome in Singapore is often caused by the following:

  • The narrowing of the carpal tunnel due to a wrist fracture
  • Fluid retention that results in tissue swelling and increased tension within the carpal tunnel
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions that cause swelling of the carpal tunnel joints and tendons
Who Is at Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Women are three times as likely as men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which is also commonly diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60. People who are involved in certain activities and occupations that require repetitive wrist motions or prolonged wrist flexion may also be at increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other risk factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Genetics & Family History: Having certain anatomical factors of the hand and wrist; or a family history of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Health Conditions: Caving certain conditions like diabetes, pregnancy or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Previous Wrist Injuries: Having past injuries in the wrist, such as fractures and sprains
  • Obesity: Being obese or overweight, which may result in increased pressure on the median nerve

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment will then depend greatly on the severity of the condition, which the doctor will first have to properly diagnose.

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