5 Tips to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

House Call Doctor: Quick and Dirty Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health
House Call Doctor

Quick & Dirty Tips

Scientific American presents House Call Doctor by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

Our hands are so important to everyday life. We write, eat, work, hold our children, and even talk with our hands.  We generally take them for granted, until something happens and we are no longer able to use them as we did before. 

By far the most common ailment affecting my patients’ hands is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which causes tingling and numbness in the fingers.  It’s quite common, and can affect anyone at any age, but tends to occur more in women and in those who are overweight.  Most of the time, it is triggered by our daily routine activities.  Since it’s such a common medical issue, I’d like to give you some tips on its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There is a band of tissues encircling our wrists that includes ligaments and tendons.  Then there’s a nerve that runs through this band of tissues called the “median nerve.”  The median nerve feeds the sensation in our first three and a half fingers, starting with the thumb.  It does not affect our pinky finger.

When this band becomes inflamed and thickened, it compresses the median nerve and we start to experience tingling and numbness in those fingers.


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