Carpal tunnel is a common condition that is a result of overuse of the hands and wrists. The good news is that there are treatments and prevention options available at your local pain management specialist Los Angeles, such as Interventional Pain Doctors. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent carpal tunnel, treatment options, and prevention tips.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the palm, becomes compressed. This compression can be caused by a variety of factors such as inflammation, injury, or repetitive use of the wrist or hand. When the median nerve becomes compressed, it can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected hand. Carpal tunnel is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 20 people, but women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
The most common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness or tingling in the fingers, typically in the thumb and index finger. Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in the hand or forearm
- Pain in the wrist or hand
- A feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers
- Problems with grip strength
- Difficulty using the affected hand for fine motor tasks
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your pain management doctors Long Beach CA so they can properly diagnose your condition and rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
Once your pain management specialist Los Angeles has diagnosed you with carpal tunnel syndrome, there are a variety of treatment options available. Most people will start with nonsurgical treatments such as:
- Wearing a splint or brace: A splint or brace can help reduce pressure on the median nerve by keeping your wrist immobile while you sleep. It’s important to wear the splint or brace on both wrists even if only one hand is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. This will help prevent further injury to the other hand.
- Exercise: Light exercises that stretch and strengthen your muscles can help reduce pressure on the median nerve and relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These exercises should be done under the guidance of a physical therapist so that you don’t further injure yourself.
- Anti-inflammatory medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to release pressure on the median nerve. Surgery is usually only recommended by your pain management doctors Long Beach CA if nonsurgical treatments haven’t worked after several months or if there is evidence of tissue damage caused by compression of the median nerve. The surgery performed for this ailment is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis. Recovery time after surgery is typically short, with most people being able to return to normal activities within a few weeks.
There are some simple things you can do when it comes to how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or keep it from getting worse if you already have it:
- Maintain good posture while working: Poor posture puts unnecessary strain on your muscles and nerves which can lead to pain and inflammation.
- Use ergonomic tools: Ergonomic tools such as keyboards, mice, and pens are designed to put less strain on your muscles and nerves while using them. If you work at a computer all day, invest in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Take breaks often: Repetitive motions such as typing on a keyboard can worsen symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome so it’s important to take breaks often throughout the day to give your hands and wrists a rest. When taking breaks, try some simple exercises such as shaking out your hands or stretching your arms overhead.
Interventional Pain Doctors | Pain Management Specialist Los Angeles
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects millions of people every year, but patients have joint pain treatment Los Angeles options available to help relieve pain and other symptoms. With these tips and the help of your pain management specialist Los Angeles at Interventional Pain Doctors, you can get back to living a pain-free life. For more information about our services, please visit our website.