What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.
In most patients, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time, so early diagnosis and treatment are important. Early on, symptoms can often be relieved with simple measures like wearing a wrist splint or avoiding certain activities.
If pressure on the median nerve continues, however, it can lead to nerve damage and worsening symptoms. To prevent permanent damage, surgery to take the pressure off the median nerve may be recommended for some patients.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The pain in your carpal tunnel is due to excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. Inflammation can cause swelling. The most common cause of this inflammation is an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist and sometimes obstructed blood flow. Some of the most frequent conditions linked with carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Fractures or trauma to the wrist
- Carpal tunnel syndrome can be made worse if the wrist is overextended repeatedly.
Repeated motion of your wrist contributes to swelling and compression of the median nerve. This may be the result of:
- Positioning of your wrists while using your keyboard or mouse
- Prolonged exposure to vibrations from using hand tools or power tools
- any repeated movement that overextends your wrist, such as playing the piano or typing.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually start gradually and include:
Tingling or numbness. You may notice tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand. Usually, the thumb and index, middle, or ring fingers are affected, but not your little finger. You might feel a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers.
- The sensation may travel from your wrist up to your arm. These symptoms often occur while holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper, or may wake you from sleep.
Many people "shake out" their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. The numb feeling may become constant over time.
- Weakness. You may experience weakness in your hand and drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb's pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.
Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The traditional surgical and non-surgical methods vary in their level of effectiveness and risk. Traditional treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Wrist splints
- Ergonomic changes to home and workspace
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Carpal tunnel release surgery
The problem with these traditional methods is they don’t offer patients a long-term remedy. Fortunately, treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is more advanced. With the latest medical and scientific innovations, individuals suffering from CTS can live a pain-free lifestyle.
Stem cell therapy is a safe, effective alternative to conventional techniques. For example, this non-invasive method doesn’t have the risks or side effects associated with steroid injections or surgery. It’s an in-office procedure involving carpal tunnel syndrome injections to the affected areas of your hand and wrist.
You may be wondering why stem cell therapy can be better than conventional CTS treatment methods. The main reason is that stem cells have the unique ability to become specialized cells such as bone, cartilage tendons, and muscle, necessary for healing injuries. They enhance the body’s natural repair process. When added to PRP therapy, this can be a powerful treatment, enabling patients to avoid lengthy and painful rehab that is needed after surgery to restore a typical range of motion, mobility, and strength. Regenerative medicine is undoubtedly the greatest discovery of modern medicine. It is a game-changer as was the discovery of Penicillin. It is changing the future of medicine at an incredible speed.