What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome in Dallas TX is also referred to as median nerve compression. This is when your median nerve compresses as it goes into your hand. The location of your median nerve is on your palm, also called the carpal tunnel. Your median nerve provides you with the ability to feel sensation in your long finger, index finger, thumb and a portion of your ring finger.

The impulse to the muscle leading to your thumb is provided by your median nerve. When swelling occurs inside of your wrist, the compression is called carpal tunnel syndrome. This can occur in one or both hands and lead to tingling, weakness and numbness.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Excess pressure can result in pain in your wrist and median nerve and swelling from inflammation. The most frequently seen cause of the inflammation is an obstructed blood flow or swelling in your wrist due to an underlying medical condition. The most common medical conditions associated with carpal tunnel syndrome include:

• Thyroid dysfunction
• High blood pressure
• Fluid retention due to menopause or pregnancy
• Trauma or fractures to the wrist
• Diabetes
• Autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis

The condition can worsen when your wrist is repeatedly overextended. Repeatedly using the same motion for your wrist is a contributing factor to both compression and swelling of your median nerve. The cause can be:

• Prolonged vibration exposure to power or hand tools.
• The way you position your wrists when using a mouse or keyboard
• An repetitive movement overextending your wrist including typing or playing a piano.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Risks

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs three times more often in women than men and is diagnosed more frequently from the age of 30 to 60. Your risk increases with diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure. Your risk also increases due to lifestyle factors including a high BMI or high body mass index, sedentary lifestyle, high intake of salt and smoking. Some jobs requiring repetitive movements include:

• Assembly lines
• Manufacturing
• Construction
• Positions involving a keyboard

If you are employed in any of these careers, your risk of developing this condition is higher.

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Most symptoms are located along your nerve path due to the compression of your median nerve. You may drop objects frequently or feel your hand falling asleep. The other symptoms include:

• Pain, tingling or numbness in your first three fingers and thumb
• Difficulty sleeping at night due to wrist pain
• Burning pain up your arm
• Weakness in your hand muscles

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome in Dallas TX can be diagnosed by a physician using a combination of nerve conduction tests, a physical exam and your history. During an exam, a detailed evaluation is conducted for your wrist, hand, neck and shoulder to look for any other reason for nerve pressure. Your physician will check your wrists for any deformities, swelling and tenderness.

The strength of your hand muscles and finger sensation will also be checked. The conduction speed for your nerve impulses can be checked with diagnostic tests.

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If you are experiencing shoulder pain in the Dallas, TX area call POSMC today!

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POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!