Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in the wrist that affects many thousands of people, with some evidence suggesting the syndrome will occur in between 2-3% of people over the course of their lifetime.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage on the palm side of your wrist which connects your hand to the forearm.
It is made up of a number of small bones and ligaments, and is formed by a wide band of cartilage called the flexor retinaculum which spans the base of your hand between the little finger and the scaphoid bone at the base of the thumb.
The median nerve, which gives sensation to the thumb, index and middle finger passes through the carpal tunnel, as do tendons to the fingers and thumb.
The tunnel is very narrow, and if the median nerve becomes compressed then this results in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The compression of the nerve results in numbness, tingling and pain in the affected fingers and thumb, as well as some loss of grip and pain in the wrists.
Why do I get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be the result of underlying medical factors causing the wrist to swell such as diabetes, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis.
It can also be the result of traumas to the wrist, and can be made worse by repeated motions of the wrist which contribute to swelling and compression of the median nerve.
This can be the result of poor wrist position at the keyboard or any profession which entails intensive use of the hands and wrist. This can be anything from using power tools, to surgeons and truck drivers.
How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can clear up by themselves, especially if you cut down on the activities that cause you to grip hard or bend your wrists.
A wrist splint will also help to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, as by keeping your wrists straight this will relieve the pressure on the median nerve.
The OPPO Wrist Splint (code 1082) is recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as for post traumatic use and any weak or overstressed wrists.
The splint includes a spoon stay which can be removed as healing progresses, and can be worn on either the right or left hand.
The splint is designed with the ideal thickness neoprene rubber layer sandwiched between tough cotton and nylon laminates. This helps to keep the wrist warm which helps accelerate the healing process and relieve pain.
It is recommended to wear a wrist splint in the evening and at night as this is when symptoms are more common. It will take at least four weeks of wearing the splint before the symptoms start to ease.
The OPPO Wrist and Thumb Support (code 1084) also helps with carpal tunnel syndrome.
It provides thermal wrist support for the weakened or strained areas and also helps with tenosynovitis.
This wrist support retains heat to relieve pain and the elastic hook and loop fastener ensures a comfortable fit and stabilisation during activities.
If a wrist splint doesn’t help to relieve the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, then your local doctor may recommend a course of steroids to lessen the pain and inflammation. If all of these treatments don’t work, then surgery can relieve the pressure on the nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common problem that can be very disruptive to normal life. Treatments such as surgery and steroids are available for severe cases, but for early treatment and the best chance of recovery an OPPO Wrist Splint can help relieve pain and aid recovery.