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Carpal Tunnel Treatment in Illinois

Alleviating Hand & Wrist Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, affecting the hands and wrists. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression or pressure on the median nerve, at the wrist.

The condition can be triggered by repetitive hand and wrist movements, injury, or underlying health conditions. While carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in anyone, it is more prevalent in females and those who engage in frequent hand-related tasks.

Risk Factors

Multiple factors are linked to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. While they may not directly lead to the condition, they can heighten the likelihood of irritation or injury to the median nerve.

  • Anatomic Factors: A wrist fracture, wrist dislocation, or arthritis that deforms the small bones in the wrist can alter the space within the carpal tunnel and put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Sex: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in women because the carpal tunnel is smaller compared to men. Pregnancy and other hormonal changes that affect fluid retention can also reduce the available space in the carpal tunnel and compress the median nerve.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome as excess body fat can put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Nerve-Damaging Conditions: Some chronic illnesses, like diabetes, increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve.
  • Repetitive Use: Certain types of activities can also increase your risk, including repetitive work with your hands and wrists

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is not unlikely for patients to experience more than one symptom.

  • Numbness or tingling in the hand or fingers
  • Pain or discomfort in the hand or wrist
  • Pain or numbness that is worse at night
  • Weakness when gripping objects
  • Swollen feeling in fingers
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis

Your provider will examine your medical history and perform a physical exam of your hand and wrist. Your doctor will want to know about patterns with your symptoms, so watch for these in your daily life. Doctors may request imaging, such as X-rays or ultrasounds. An X-ray will not show if you have Carpal Tunnel, but it can help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. For further diagnostics, your doctor may also recommend electromyography or nerve conduction studies to get a better analysis of your nerve function.

Carpal Tunnel TreatMent Options

If diagnosed and treated early, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can often be relieved without surgery. If your diagnosis is uncertain or if your symptoms are mild, your provider will recommend nonsurgical treatment first.

Nonsurgical Treatments:

Bracing or Splinting: Using a brace or splint during the night can prevent you from inadvertently bending your wrist while you rest. By keeping your wrist in a straight or neutral position, it alleviates pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel. It’s essential to move your joint during the day to keep it from becoming weak or stiff.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Steroid Injections: A steroid injection can help alleviate symptoms by reducing inflammation and swelling in the wrist.
  • Activity Changes: Symptoms often occur when your hand and wrist are in the same position that puts pressure on the nerve for too long. Changing or modifying these activities can slow or stop the progression of the disease.
  • Exercises: Some patients may benefit from exercises that help the median nerve move more freely within the confines of the carpal tunnel.

If you are in a profession with a high predisposition to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or you often participate in activities that are known to lead to this condition, you should try preventive measures before symptoms arise. Preventive measures can include taking frequent rest breaks, stretching and exercising your fingers, wrists, and hands, and improving the ergonomics of your workspace.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be cured with carpal tunnel release surgery. This will release the ligament around the carpal tunnel to relieve pressure off the median nerve. Carpal tunnel release surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.

After surgery, you will have stitches and a bandage. You will be able to use your hand lightly for the first two weeks and then increase activity gradually. Your doctor will provide specific timeframes to avoid injury and ensure you heal properly.

Contact Our Orthopedic Team Today

Contact our team of orthopedists today if you are experiencing pain that you believe may be from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. They will diagnose the exact cause of your pain and determine the best course of treatment.

Find a location near you and reach out to schedule an appointment today!