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How to Differentiate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Myofascial Pain?

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Testing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a progressive affliction which may be caused by direct trauma or repetitive overuse resulting in compression of the median nerve at the wrist

The condition is three times more likely to affect women, largely due to occupational tasks such as keyboard work. Pregnancy and diabetes are also risk factors.

The carpal tunnel surrounds the median nerve and flexor muscle tendons in their tendon sheaths as they pass from the forearm to the hand.

Raised pressure in the tunnel may occur as a result of irritated or inflamed tendons, leading to compression of the median nerve and causing pain, weakness or numbness in the hand which may radiate up the arm.

The condition is one of a variety of entrapment neuropathies involving compression or trauma to peripheral nerves.

Common Cause of Injury

Sporting activities that involve repetitive flexion and extension of the wrist, e.g. cycling, throwing events, racket sports and gymnastics. Congenital predisposition. Trauma or injury including fracture or sprain. Occupational tasks.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Burning, numbness or itching in the palm of the hand and fingers.
  • Sensation of finger and wrist swelling.
  • Weakness of grip.
  • Pain that may wake the individual during the night.

Complications if Left Unattended

Left untreated, CTS can cause loss of sensation in some fingers and permanent weakness of the thumb as the muscles of the thumb atrophy.

Heat and cold perception may also be affected in untreated CTS cases.

Immediate Treatment

Cease repetitive stress activity causing the condition. Immobilization of the wrist with bandage or splint to prevent further irritation.

Rehabilitation and Prevention

Halting the repetitive sport or activity and allowing for rest and rehabilitation time following diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is essential.

A bandage or splint may be used to stabilize the injured hand.

Releasing the tension in the wrist and hand during sports and periodic exercises to retain mobility and retard stiffness in the hands may help prevent the onset of CTS.

Long-Term Prognosis

Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare (except in cases of underlying disease such as diabetes).

Corticosteroid injections and surgery in persistent cases. The majority of patients properly attending to the injury recover completely.

 

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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 

 

  

   

 

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