Published On: Thu, Jan 15th, 2015

Decompress the Mess: How to relieve the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Do you constantly feel pain in your hand, especially when doing everyday movements? How about a tingling sensation, numbness and overall weakness, like your hand suddenly went on vacation and left you to fend for yourself? I hate to be an alarmist, but hand injuries are more common than you think, and some of them can be quite serious. Have yourself checked ASAP because you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

painTunnel Closed for repairs

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? CTS is caused by pressure on the carpal tunnel, a small space that runs from the wrist to the forearm, wherein tendons and the median nerve are located and housed (imagine a cable wire that has smaller cables inside). When the carpal tunnel is repeatedly subjected to pressure, it wreaks havoc on the median nerve, and this causes CTS sufferers pain. The worst part of this ordeal is that the pain usually occurs at night, robbing patients of precious sleep. Oh and a small tidbit: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects nearly 1 out 20 Americans, with Caucasians getting the brunt of the illness. Ouch!

The Median Nerve controls the thumb and the first three fingers of the hand, so people who have CTS suffer from either pain or numbness and limb weakness. They lose the ability to fully use the hand affected by CTS due to the pain and swelling involved. The pressure comes from swelling or anything that makes the tunnel smaller, from illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism and diabetes or injuring the wrist area by performing a movement over and over. CTS has even been discovered during pregnancy.

Treatment options for CTS

Many treatment options are available for people who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. From splints that should be worn at night, to wrist braces for daily use. There’s also pain management medicine available, and homeopathic rehabilitation techniques that utilize hand exercises and herbal supplements. Some patients have also reportedly responded well to the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, although the natural remedies have yet to undergo scientific scrutiny.

The only reliable option to relieve the pain is to relive the pressure on the median nerve, and that can only be done by surgery.

Decompressions of a Painful Hand

Unlike the hand surgeries of the past, where CTS patients had to undergo very invasive surgery (the palm and wrist were cut open) to get the offending nerve and alleviate the pressure, the technology doctors use now is truly phenomenal.

With the aid of an endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a camera attached), doctors don’t need to cut open palms and wrists anymore. A tiny incision is made, and the endoscope is inserted so the doctor can see and navigate the labyrinth of nerves to find the cause of the problem and deal with it, using the same endoscope! Tiny surgical instruments are also run through the same flexible tube, so the doctor can do repairs on the fly after assessing them.

This minimally invasive procedure is called Carpal Tunnel Endoscopic Decompression, and it just rocks. Patients experience immediate relief from CTS symptoms and can even go home after the procedure, as it doesn’t require hospitalization. Only local anesthesia is used, and the patient will recover faster than traditional methods of surgery.

Don’t Waste Time

So, if you’re suffering from numbness, weakness or constant pain in your hand, and you think you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, consult a doctor who specializes in hand injuries and minimally invasive surgery immediately.