The carpal tunnel syndrome is a narrow passageway found between the bones of the base of the hand, specifically the pisiform, semi-lunate, pyramid and scaphoid, containing tendons and the median nerve in its proximal aspect, while distally it is formed by the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate. It is in this space where the median nerve can become trapped, resulting in peripheral neuropathy. This entrapment can be produced by the presence of fluid, inflammation of one of the tendons or any process that reduces space in the tunnel.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Symptoms
A sensation of heat, numbness in the middle and index fingers, and especially the thumb. As it worsens, the patient experiences cramps and has difficulty making a fist, picking up objects and performing manual tasks. Loss of sensitivity is evident in some cases and pain is present in the upper area of the hand and wrist. Symptoms increase with activity, but can subside with massage and relaxation.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Treatment
Rehabilitation therapy, including the use of moist warm compresses, paraffin and other techniques such as laser or electrotherapy, as well as preventative treatments like wrist mobility exercises during rest periods, in conjunction with the use of unloading splints that enable immobilisation of the wrist, hand and finger joints.