Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Info
“I love tearing things out of the ground. I love digging and discarding. I love pruning. In fact, I love pruning so much that I once gave myself carpal-tunnel syndrome because I attacked a trumpet vine with so much dedication.“
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are usually a burning sensation in certain parts of the hand and usually occurs when the median nerve gets trapped, due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel. Often people with CTS complain of waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling that their hand is asleep and a mild throbbing pain. The aetiology of CTS is not completely understood but can be considered compression of the median nerve that travels through the carpal tunnel. It appears to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the predisposing factors include: diabetes, obesity, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, and heavy manual work or work with vibrating tools. There is, however, little clinical data to prove that lighter, repetitive tasks can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
People with CTS experience numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, in particular the index, middle fingers, and radial half of the ring fingers, which are innervated by the median nerve. Less-specific symptoms may include pain in the wrists or hands and loss of grip strength (both of which are more characteristic of painful conditions such as arthritis).
Conservative treatments include use of night splints and corticosteroid injection. The only scientifically established disease modifying treatment is surgery aimed at cutting out the transverse carpal ligament.
Most cases of CTS do not have a known cause. The syndrome can be associated with any condition that causes pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Some common conditions that can lead to CTS include obesity, oral contraceptives, hypothyroidism, arthritis, diabetes, prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance), and trauma.
There are some natural health products that may help with CTS. It is important to seek help with a registered health practitioner if you feel like you are experiencing symptoms.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is great for Carpal Tunnel as works by down-regulating the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines which are elevated in people with this disorder. Fish oil, in conjunction with vitamins A, C, E and selenium, can reduce inflammation and provide an important defence against oxidative stress in inflamed joints. Curcumin also exhibits well-known anti-inflammatory properties and confer a significant curative effect on symptoms. Ginger extracts can reduce inflammatory cytokines and has been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with joint disorders. Vitamin B6, together with vitamins B1 and B12, may also help as it has a analgesic effect due to the inhibition of the body's natural pain system.
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