Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or Median Neuropathy at the Wrist is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, leading to pain, paresthesias*, and muscle weakness in the forearm and hand. A form of compressive neuropathy, CTS is more common in women than it is in men, and, though it can occur at any age, has a peak incidence around age 42. The lifetime risk for CTS is around 10% of the adult population.
(*Paresthesias is numbness and tingling.)
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One of those annoying problems that most people do not know about,
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can have bothered a persons' hand or wrist for
years, before a trip to the Doctor offers a way out from the
increasingly numb feeling in fingers and wrist joints.
The feeling of this problem, at the onset, is of pins and needles, which stay within the nerves in a profound way - like for a week, with no surcease. Instead, the numbness becomes increasingly worse, and is a nuisance.This syndrome can lead to quite serious pain, and even to the need for surgery.
Wikipedia quotes several sources of CTS, while noting that most cases of CTS are idiopathic, without known cause. Some sources can be: psychological stress, sleeping upon a bent, compressed wrist,repetitive activities, water weight retention.
"Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome have gradually
increasing symptoms over time.
The first symptoms of CTS may appear when sleeping, and typically include numbness and paresthesia (a burning and tingling sensation) in the fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
These symptoms appear at night because many people sleep with bent wrists which further compresses the carpal tunnel. If the median nerve is already under stress, the increased compression of the bent wrist creates the numbness and tingling.
Difficulty gripping and making a fist, dropping objects, and weakness are symptoms of progression. In early stages of CTS individuals often mistakenly blame the tingling and numbness on restricted blood circulation and they believe their hands are simply "falling asleep".
In chronic cases, there may be wasting of the thenar muscles (the body of muscles which are connected to the thumb)
It is important to note that unless numbness or paresthesia are among the predominant symptoms, it is unlikely the symptoms are primarily caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. In effect, pain of any type, location, or severity with the absence of significant numbness or paresthesia is not likely to fall under this diagnosis."
QUOTED (ABOVE) FROM URL: The
Although the sources of this problem are not well-defined, I,
for one, think that I know where my own syndrome came from.
One morning in the spring about three years ago, I was picking tiny weedlets out of the front yards' flower bed. I spied a small three inch white nettle plant, which had floated over by seed from my neighbours' vacant lot effect. Thinking that a tiny nettle sting would amount to next to nothing from such a small, tender newling, I plucked it from its' base, near the earth. Instantly, I was aware of a hugely irritating sting, and of pins and needles in three fingers.
Since that time, the numbness syndrome had recurred, surprisingly,(for three years) until I asked my GP about it all.
I was given a prescription for a stiff brace, to be worn in bed at night.
The fourty dollar "immobilizing" wrist brace comes straight from the pharmacys' shelf. It straps onto the hand and wrist, allowing the thumb to poke through a separate space next to the full space for the four fingers. Velcro bands adjust the brace until it is bearable. One should not adjust this brace tightly, of course, since improved circulation is good for the hand and digits, anyway.
You can see an image of an immobilizing brace upon
My neighbour is a nurse, and she lent me a great book called
Prescription for Nutritional Healing1.
In this, I found a huge wealth of information
about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and I immediately tried improving my
dietary intake with the addition of the recommended herbs and vitamins
that I usually reserve for depression, fatigue, or the flu.
What was really interesting is that I have not worn the brace since, and I had instant, and I mean instant relief in ONE DAY, trying only 2 per cent of the suggested vites and foods!!!
This book1 offers great advice about dietary ways to cure or to relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I eat this way, anyway, but there are additions that I have not heard of, or that are quite new to shoppers.
One of the obvious foods that you can help yourself to (and this is luxurious, but quite inexpensive) is oxy-rich juice. I have tried, and immediately have added as staples the new blends of blueberry and pomegranate, or reconstituting syrup and/or pop made of black currants, which is believed to be very preventive of some kinds of illness.
Oxy-rich juices can, for example, help to prevent Alzheimers, so these berries or juices should always be in your diet, anyway.
Another fruit that apparently assists with the cure of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is very expensive, unless you are situated in, for example, Hawaii or Cuba. However, richer people can afford to take this idea and provide for themselves a very nutritious and luxurious alternative med.
Here it is:
Eat at least half of a fresh pineapple per day for three weeks. The cost of all this gorgeous pineapple is about forty two dollars, roughly the cost of a brace, which you have probably bought, anyway!! I am lucky to be able to add one of these fruits to our diet per month, but I insist upon having it. Fresh Pineapple is heavenly! Of course, you add the vitamins and other foods that are suggested.
You can do this in your sleep. In fact, if you are not eating many of these suggested foods, you are not really eating properly to prevent other problems, like cancer. Gawd- just do it! What could be wrong?
Asparagus, Beetroot, Egg, Parsley, Rhubarb, Sorrel, Spinach, Chard, and the Brassicas. (Brassicas are the anti-carcinogenic staple foods that are so good for you, being Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Mustard Greens tops, and a number of lesser known others like Aragula).
No doubt, if this were truly one of the Ten Commandments, or
part of The Pillars of Righteousness, as dieticians do tend to insist,
most of us could consider ourselves to be addicted sinners.
Giving up Fritos, Potato Chips and other marvellously salty foods, like Marmite, is like giving up your cherished one - and - a -half nights of weekend recreation!!
I'm bad, I must admit. I like salt foods better than sugary foods, anytime. I don't feel as happy without crunchy and salty snacks.
Since you dudes are as bad as I am, let us sleaze our way into, at least, not using salt when cooking our veggies,and, especially into letting go of those easy canned and fozen, prepared foods. Try not salting your french fries or fried eggs - use a salt substitute. (Salt Subs are in little jars obtainable from Health Food Stores, and if you ask nicely, your supermarket. They are partly comprised of salt-rich herbs)
There are ways to calm the salt craving down, anyway.
Luckily for the people who live in a hotter climate for longer months than a snow-bound Canadian, salt is a necessity during hotter months. We as humans must have it, so I am inclined to go for salt foods and club soda (or foaming mineral water like lime Perrier) during the summer months. We just do not need so much of it. You can buy non-salted Club Soda for the winter, by the way. It tastes a lot better, if you can just find it in those grocery shelves. Here, the bottom line is that water retention from excessive salt intake might be playing a part in the pressurization of the medial nerve, where it tightly fits into the carpal tunnel of the wrist.
You can do this. The vitamin C and thiamine in good old Orange Juice are good for tissue oxygenation, and this will also help to relieve some of the compression or blockage that causes the discomfort of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
This marvellous book (Pharmaceutical Nutrition) recommends a hefty pile of vitamins and minerals. Taking a multi vitamin for your age bracket is a good way to get a lot of essentials without gagging upon thirty dry pills all at once. Here is a list of recommended vites available on the shelves of your pharmacy or health food store:
Lecithin: 3 tbsp. a day
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B8): 100 mg 2x day
Zinc (you can get this in your multivites)
Vitamins A, C and E
1TEXT PUBLICATION: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 2nd Edition, 1997 (pp 191 - 193 on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), by James F. Balch, M.D., and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.,Avery Publishing Group, Garden City, NY, USA.
on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
Free Dictionary: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
images about median nerve, etc: Images, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Free Med Dictionary link, images CTS.
Available free online med dictionary