Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most commonly recognized of all the repetitive strain injuries (RSI). It seems that everywhere you go, you find someone wearing a wrist brace: grocery store clerks, computer users, meat processors, laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, hair dressers, house painters, carpenters. It’s everywhere!
So, what do computer users, meat processors, house painters and the others all have in common? They all use the same part of their anatomy in performing their daily activities. Muscles called the flexor muscles are located on the inside of the forearm (palm side). These muscles are responsible for closing your fingers and thumbs. So, they are involved any time you hold or squeeze something, which we all do all the time we use our hands for anything. These muscles get their feeling and strength from the median nerve.
When there has been a combination of excess strain combined with repetition of movements or activities that cause the flexor muscles to contract over and over again, CTS can be the result. The excess strain and the repetitive movements combine to cause the fascia that surrounds the median nerve to become thicker, sticky and more likely to irritate the nerve that serves so much of your hand and wrist.
Many people think that if they have pain in their hands, it is automatically Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. But this is not necessarily so. Many other conditions affecting the hands could also be the cause of your symptoms. Compare the symptoms you feel with those listed for CTS. If they don’t match, then read about the other repetitive strain injuries covered on this site to find a better match for your condition. And be sure to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. You could be missing something that points to another condition that needs attention. It is wise to go to a physician familiar with carpal tunnel syndrome to evaluate your symptoms and to rule out any other possible conditions that could complicate your recovery.
There are so many things you can do to recover from CTS on your own. Take a look at the self care tips that make recovery easier. Once you have made the changes to how you use your body, strain will be reduced, making way for results that are longer lasting.
Be sure to read the following pages for all the information you need to understand this debilitating hand injury and what you need to do to recover from it.
If you are interested in the best home recovery program, including step-by-step instruction, the best stretches and exercises and most up to date advice for overcoming your symptoms, click here.
To read about other repetitive strain injuries, return to the Home Page.