If you have been experiencing sudden numbness or tingling in your fingers, especially while sleeping or immediately after you wake up, then chances are that you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Before moving onto how to treat or cure this syndrome, it is important to understand the exact nature as well as the causes and symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Explained
Carpal tunnel is the passageway in the wrist, about the size of your index finger, surrounded by the carpal bones and fibrous tissue. It is important to note that the median nerve passes through this tunnel, which helps receive signals from the thumb and fingers. Often due to change of position of the fibrous tissue or mere swelling, the median nerve is pinched, which causes numbness or tingling. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
From the above explanation, it is easy to understand that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when there is some pressure exerted onto the median nerve. This pressure could be exerted due to a variety of reasons, including obesity, trauma, arthritis, pregnancy, diabetes as well as hypothyroidism. Continuous typing or certain repetitive movements of the wrist and fingers also cause this syndrome. Additionally, certain rare diseases also lead to deposition of certain substances onto the nerve, which could lead to this syndrome.
A tingling sensation is experienced along the hand, especially the thumb, index, middle and fourth finger. It is important to note that while this sensation exists throughout the day, it is more intense during the night, often causing the individual to wake up. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the pain or numbness often extends through the forearm right to the shoulder. Treatment for this syndrome largely depends on the severity of the problem in the individual.
When it is early stages, immobilization of the wrist, using a splint along with application of ice, is an excellent way to treat the problem. Rest is absolutely essential for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if you are in a job that requires repetitive movements of the wrist and fingers. Where the condition is caused by other diseases or factors, it is important to treat those, in order to get relief from this problem. Finally, in severe cases, surgery may be prescribed.