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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Unknown

This is a condition of the median nerve, which becomes compressed or irritated within a space known as the “carpal tunnel” in the wrist.

Pain and Symptoms

It is characterised by burning wrist pain with numbness and parasthesia in the distribution of this nerve (thumb, index finger, middle finger and part of the ring finger). The pain can radiate up the arm.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is usually made from the history and from clinical testing. Further investigations such as x-ray, MRI and ultrasound can be undertaken to confirm the diagnosis and to assess other structures. Nerve conduction studies are sometimes undertaken.

Treatment

Activity Modification – A period of activity modification is recommended to help unload the irritated area. For example if it is computer typing that aggravates the condition modification of your desk set up and hand positioning may be required.

Bracing – Bracing especially at night time can help rest the region and reduce the symptoms in the wrist.

Strengthening – A graded and controlled strengthening program may be required to help restore normal function in the wrist and forearm region.

Medical

There are several medical treatments available. These need to be prescribedand administered by a Medical Doctor with expertise in this area. These include medications, injections and surgery.

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