Americans spend more time than ever in front of screens — an average of 11 hours each day — typing, swiping, and texting. Aside from potentially creating vision and neck problems, that amount of screen time may also contribute to wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The team of experienced medical professionals at New Hampshire Regenerative Center LLC, in Manchester, New Hampshire, provides practical solutions and state-of-the-art treatments for this painful, sometimes debilitating, condition. Here, the team shares some interesting facts you may not know about carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the result of a compressed nerve
The median nerve runs down the center of your forearm into the palm of your hand. When this nerve becomes squeezed, or compressed in the carpal tunnel — a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones — you feel discomfort and pain.
Why would your carpal tunnel become narrower? Usually as a result of overuse, or repetitive movements, the surrounding tissues become inflamed and take up space within the tunnel.
This crowds the median nerve and leads to pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and fingers.
Heredity plays a significant role when it comes to CTS
Not everyone who spends many hours a day typing on a keyboard, playing a violin, or gripping a cellphone gets carpal tunnel syndrome. But, if a narrow, smaller carpal tunnel is in your genes, you have a greater chance of developing the painful symptoms of CTS.
Your wrists might just be anatomically designed to be more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome than the wrists of those who have wider carpal tunnels.
Pregnancy and other health conditions can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome
Pregnancy changes so many things in a woman’s body, like shoe size and the width of your hips, and hormonal changes can cause swelling. You might feel the effects of this swelling in your wrists and hands while you’re pregnant.
Surprisingly, other health conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and rheumatoid arthritis are also associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Metabolic and nerve disorders associated with conditions like diabetes directly affect your nerves, making you more susceptible to nerve compression anywhere in your body.
Women are three times more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome than men
Perhaps pregnancy has something to do with this statistic, but typically, women also have smaller carpal tunnels than their male counterparts, based on their overall size and physical structure. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually only affects adults, too, not children.
Exercises and other noninvasive solutions can relieve CTS pain
If your symptoms are mild to moderate, sometimes making changes to your daily routine can alleviate wrist and hand pain. Stretching, yoga, and specific exercises to relieve the pressure on your median nerve throughout the day may help decrease the pain, tingling, and numbness that’s typical with CTS.
Additionally, wearing a brace for added support while you type at your computer or play the piano, or one that you wear at night, can reduce discomfort.
If your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are aggravated by a specific activity, such as gripping a tennis racket or performing a repetitive task with your hands at work, you may need to take a break from that specific activity until the swelling subsides.
Or, perhaps you can change your workstation so your wrist is in a position that takes the pressure off your median nerve.
Regenerative therapies may also help
When noninvasive methods and exercises don’t provide the relief you need, the team at New Hampshire Regenerative Center successfully treats CTS through cell therapy.
Cell therapy is another effective treatment for CTS. This regenerative medicine therapy helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation related to injury, overuse, and degenerative conditions like arthritis.
If you’re suffering from chronic wrist and hand pain, we encourage you to make an appointment for a thorough evaluation and a whole-person approach to carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
Click the “schedule appointment” button on this website or call the office.