Imagine this scenario: It’s Monday morning, and you’re sitting at your desk, ready to start the work-week. You have 25 emails to return and three reports demanding your attention. Unfortunately, your hands hurt too much to touch the keyboard.
If this situation sounds familiar, you may be suffering from the painful, inconvenient condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Also known as CTS, carpal tunnel results from swelling within or around the carpal tunnel that puts pressure on the median nerve. Patients suffering from CTS may experience a painful or burning sensation in the hands and fingers. They may also notice numbness, swelling or a weakness or loss of muscle function in the affected hand. If you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel, check out these tips for finding relief and consider contacting the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence for a consultation.
1. Consider Ergonomics.
Is carpal tunnel pain affecting your ability to perform tasks at home or work? You may want to consider a more ergonomic, or user-friendly, setup for your desk. Experts advise that an office worker arrange her keyboard and mouse so they are within a forearm’s length. Additionally, you should orient your chair so your arms and wrists are level with your keyboard. The goal is to avoid tilting your wrists up to type. You may also consider purchasing—or asking your company to purchase—an ergonomically designed keyboard that protects your fingers and wrists from reaching and straining.
2. Take Typing Breaks.
For individuals with mild carpal tunnel, taking periodic breaks from typing can help alleviate pain and prevent the condition from worsening. Stop typing and stretch your wrists every few minutes. You may also want to contact one of the board-certified specialists at the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence for a consultation and personalized therapy plan.
3. Try Celestone Injections and Other Treatments.
Some carpal tunnel patients may benefit from the use of splints and other non-surgical treatments like Celestone injections and oral steroids. These options can help to relieve pain and inflammation temporarily. However, it’s important to remember that the prolonged use of steroids is not without side effects, and many CTS patients will eventually experience a recurrence of symptoms. Patients with painful or worsening carpal tunnel may want to think about longer-lasting options for relief.
4. Think About Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery.
The expert surgeons at the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence specialize in carpal tunnel release surgery. During this minimally invasive treatment, a hand surgeon creates a small incision at the base of the palm. He or she will then make a small cut in the transverse carpal ligament to afford the median nerve more space in the tunnel. The doctor may also remove inflamed tissue in local tendons to allow for improved healing. For many patients, carpal tunnel release surgery alleviates pain and swelling and greatly improves quality of life.
Contact Our Expert Carpal Tunnel Surgeons
At the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence, our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in treating carpal tunnel, trigger finger and other hand conditions. If you are in pain, don’t hesitate to contact our Los Angeles surgeons by calling (888) 529-1873.
Next, read about the effects of tech devices on your hands.