Thursday, December 7, 2023

HEALTH :Treating the shooting neuropathic pain

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Have you ever heard of carpal tunnel syndrome? It is a type of neuropathic pain that can become quite troublesome if left untreated. The Pioneer’s SHIKHA DUGGAL investigates the syndrome, its causes and cure, and more as she speaks to experts in the field.
Nerves in the arms and hands can constrict around soft tissues and muscles, resulting in pain and loss of function. Different kinds of nerve compression in these areas affect from 5% to almost 9% of the population. Surgical decompression is a common treatment for the condition and can lead to a complete or partial improvement of symptoms. Nerves that surround the head can also be compressed by surrounding muscles, vessels, and bones.
Decompressing these nerves can lead to improvement or relief from migraines and headaches. Wondering what it is called? The carpal tunnel syndrome We investigated more.
Dr. Gurdeep Singh Ratra, an orthopaedic surgeon at Manipal Hospitals, explained, “Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common yet often misunderstood medical condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. This compression leads to a range of uncomfortable symptoms and can affect daily life.
The primary cause of CTS is the narrowing of the carpal tunnel, a passageway in the wrist formed by bones and ligaments. This narrowing can be caused by various factors, including repetitive hand movements, hereditary factors, wrist injuries, or underlying medical conditions like arthritis. Typical symptoms of CTS include tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand, especially in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.These symptoms often worsen at night or during activities that involve flexing the wrist.Treatment options for CTS range from lifestyle modifications and wrist splints to medication and, in severe cases, surgery. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for effective management.”
It’s a misconception that CTS specifically targets mothers; rather, it can affect anyone, but it’s more common in certain groups, including new mothers, due to repetitive hand and wrist motions that are prevalent in daily activities, including childcare tasks. Dr. Shyam K. Jaiswal, a neurologist at CARE Hospitals in Banjara Hills, suggests people avoid excessive bending or flexing of the wrist and try to keep it in a neutral position during activities that involve hand use. He added, “It’s important to give your hands and wrists regular breaks during repetitive tasks, allowing time for stretching and movement to prevent strain.
Utilise ergonomic keyboards, mice, and other tools that are designed to reduce strain on your wrists and hands. Adjust your workstation to promote proper alignment and posture. Wearing a wrist splint or brace, especially at night, can help keep the wrist in a neutral position, relieving pressure on the median nerve and reducing symptoms.
Engaging in specific exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist can help strengthen and stretch the muscles in the hand and wrist, promoting flexibility and reducing symptoms. Regarding massage techniques and exercises, it’s crucial to consult a qualified healthcare professional or certified therapist. They can demonstrate safe and effective techniques to alleviate symptoms and improve wrist flexibility.”
Dr. Naveen Karanam spells out very clearly that “carpal tunnel syndrome” can be more common among mothers due to repetitive hand and wrist movements involved in activities like lifting and carrying babies, breastfeeding, and performing household chores. “Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also contribute by causing fluid retention, which may increase pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. But consider including a case study of a mom who experienced and successfully managed carpal tunnel syndrome. Highlight her symptoms, diagnosis, treatment journey, and how she adapted her daily routine to prevent recurrence,” said the doc.
If left untreated, CTS can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of function in the affected hand. This can make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as writing, typing, and using utensils. If you experience any of the symptoms associated with CTS, it’s important to seek medical attention to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. By taking steps to prevent CTS, such as using ergonomic tools and taking frequent breaks, you can reduce your risk of developing this condition and maintain good hand and wrist health.
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