Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And What You Need To Know
For grown up kids, in this lockdown period, the only thing they have is technology! But who knows it could be problematic too. Well, spending more time on a laptop or PC is not really a good sign.
A prompt awareness and scrapped knowledge about a disease called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is very important to learn.
It is indeed true that the latest gadgets are conquering the world rather than any kind of pandemic. And, now this online work-from-home ritual, online schools only make our body structure a bit confusing. But has anyone thought of the things it can lead to? Better watch your hands and postures while using the varieties of computers, QWERTY keypad or touch screens with only one hand; it might give you a call for a carpal tunnel surgery indeed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome starts in an early age and ends with a severe note at an older age. Proper exercises and sitting posture while working on computers might help you reduce the symptoms that must be followed with the right medication.
Our wrist is surrounded by a band of fibrous tissue that normally functions as a support for the joint. The space between this fibrous band and the wrist bone is called the carpal tunnel. Any condition that causes increased pressure within the tunnel can affect the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel to receive sensations from the thumb, index and middle fingers of the hand. When our median nerve is affected, doctors diagnose it as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The wrist is known to be the slimmest part of the human body and slim wrists have been considered a sign of beauty for centuries, but people with smaller wrists, it is now known, are at higher risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. And this truly indicates our small kids who are given phones at a very early age!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also considered as one of the major complications of diabetes. Mainly the hypothyroid, diabetic and obese people are the targets of this syndrome but it could happen with the younger generation too who are mostly seen with the mouse pads, QWERTY phones or touch screen pads in their hands, as experts say.
To know more, anyone who suffers from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome initially feels numbness and tingling in their hand including pain in the wrist and palm side hand. Even when only one hand is paining, the other hand also generally shows signs of nerve conduction abnormalities on testing. This tingling is then followed by the burning sensation on the palm and at the side of index, middle, and ring fingers.
But your fifth finger would not show any symptoms. Such sensations might radiate to the forearm or shoulders thus leaving behind an aching shoulder and neck. Also the patient might feel cold hands and warm forearms. When the sensation is left unhealed, gradually the hand might become numb and patients might lose the ability to feel heat and cold. They might even experience a sense of weakness and a tendency to drop things. Your hands would be swollen even though there was no visible swelling. These symptoms might actually prove to be an important indicator of chronic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
As for doctors, say that proper exercises and sitting postures while working in front of computers might help one reduce the symptoms that obviously should be followed with the right medication.
Causes- Any condition that causes increased pressure within the tunnel can affect the median nerve and the irritation in this manner causes tingling and numbness of the fingers. Apart from biological causes, medical conditions and genetic factors, the syndrome can even happen when you are too friendly with your touch screen gadgets. Regularly using the touch pads and working on laptops with a wrong posture could give call to this syndrome. Mostly, children today do not check their hand postures while using these devices, in fact they use computer mouse or type all day without proper support to the arm. Thus, it generally leads to overuse of muscles that become inflamed and causes pain.
Precautions- The choice of the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of its symptoms and any underlying disease that is causing the symptoms. The patient should use a wrist splint that would not let you move your wrist. Also, one has to relax their wrist as much as possible.
Symptoms- One would feel hand numbness and tingling in the distribution of the median nerve in the thumb, index, middle and part of the ring finger. These sensations often occur at night and could awaken people from their sleep. In fact, at its worst stage, there could be a frequent dropping of objects from the hand when the grip strength decreases. Occasionally, patients could even feel the sharp shooting pains in the forearm.
Advice to the sufferers - People who have their occupations aggravating the symptoms like working long hours in front of computers should modify their activities. The computer keyboard and height of the chair should be adjusted to optimize comfort. Even periodic resting and range of motion stretching exercise of the wrists could prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that are caused by repetitive overuse. A patient should learn how to adjust the work area, handle the tools or perform tasks in easiest ways that could put less stress on their hands and wrists.
Even the non-sufferers should keep in mind the proper posture and follow the exercise programs to strengthen the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders, and neck. It is also advised to take a five minute break in between work. People who need to hold tools like pencils, steering wheels for long periods of time should hold them as loosely as possible. They should avoid working at low temperatures, which reduces sensation in hands and fingers.
- Tingling Burning sensation in the fingers
- Aching shoulders and neck
- Pain in the forearm
- Pain in the hands or wrists
- Numbness in fingers
- Loss of grip strength
- Weakness in Thenar muscle
- Hands falling asleep
- Cold hands, forearms warm
- Loss of sleep
- Hand or wrist exercises
- Stretching the limbs
- Control on Diabetes
- Proper Hypothyroid treatment
- Take care of your sitting postures
- Squeezing the shoulder blades together
- Taking deep breaths
- Take repetitive breaks
- Relax your wrist muscles as much as possible
- Vitamin B6
- Physical Injury
- Wrong sitting postures
- High force used while working
- Autoimmune diseases
- Arthritis and other muscle disorders
- Chronic kidney insufficiency
- Interleukin- 2 and anti clotting drugs like Warfarin
- Bone dislocations
- Genetic factors
Posture for computer users-
- Sit with the straight spine against the back of your chair while keeping your shoulders relaxed
- Elbows should rest along the sides of the body while keeping your wrists straight
- Feet should be kept firmly on the floor or on a footrest
- Typing materials should be at eye level so that you do not bend your neck
- Keep your neck flexible and head upright
Parul Sanghi Bajaj is a freelance writer based in Ranchi, Jharkhand. With more than nine years of journalistic experience, she believes in writing what is real and versatile. She looks for unexplored potential in different genres and loves to pen down her immediate thoughts. Connect with her on Instagram, Linkedin!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.