Typing on the computer or using a touchscreen device has become the norm in today’s digital age. It should be little surprise then that carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition very often caused and aggravated by poor typing habits, affects nearly 3 million people in the United States alone each year. While rarely serious, carpal tunnel can affect your quality of life and get you behind on important work. If you think you suffer from carpal tunnel and need relief, call Dr. Harmeet Singh at Clinical Neurology in Leesburg, Virginia, to set up your consultation, or book an appointment online. Dr. Singh is currently accepting new patients from Leesburg, Lansdowne, Ashburn, Purcellville, Sterling, Herndon and surrounding areas.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where excess pressure on your wrists leads to pain, numbness, tingling, and discomfort in your arm and hand. It’s caused when the carpal tunnel, a passageway in your wrist that guides the nerves, ligaments, and tendons from your arm to your hand, becomes inflamed or swells. This narrowing of the tunnel creates pressure on the median nerve, which is responsible for your sense of feeling in your fingers, as well as controlling the muscles around your thumb.
Carpal tunnel has a fairly standard set of symptoms. If you suffer from carpal tunnel, you might experience the following:
Carpal tunnel symptoms tend to start subtly and become worse over time, so early detection is key for treatment.
While it is commonly thought of as largely affecting typists, carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in more than just office workers. The condition has several identifiable risk factors that are common amongst sufferers, and you might be at particular risk for carpal tunnel for a few reasons:
You are a woman or older in age
Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel than men, and older individuals of both sexes are at higher risk as well.
You might be born with a smaller than average carpal tunnel. This makes it much easier for pressure to build on the median nerve.
Hand and wrist treatment
Poor wrist and hand posture or repeated activity that stresses the wrists and hands — such as typing — can increase swelling in the carpal tunnel, increasing pressure on the median nerve.
Existing health conditions
Medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes increase your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
When diagnosed early, you can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome without surgery. These treatment options include hand and wrist exercises to keep the median nerve loose, a brace or spine that helps keep your wrist in a neutral position, and anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids to reduce carpal tunnel swelling.
If you’ve lost strength in your hands and wrists and think the carpal tunnel is the culprit, call Dr. Singh at Clinical Neurology to book your appointment, or schedule online.