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Carpal tunnel syndrome: New treatment may offer lasting relief without surgery

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where pressure on the median nerve in the wrist causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand.

  • It often results from repetitive wrist movements, such as using a mouse and keyboard, and can cause permanent damage.

  • Current treatments include rest, anti-inflammatories, and, in severe cases, surgery.

  • A new study has discovered that a saline injection near the nerve can effectively relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for up to 6 months.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which travels down the arm to the thumb, is compressed when it travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. When the median nerve is compressed, it becomes inflamed.

Symptoms include pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand, primarily in the thumb and first two fingers. These often start at night, but cause increasing problems during the day, as the condition worsens.

CTS is the most common entrapment neuropathyTrusted Source, affecting up to 5% of peopleTrusted Source in the United States. The syndrome is 10 times as common in women as in men, and usually starts between the ages of 40 and 60.

Causes and current treatments

Often there is no clear cause of CTS, but it may be brought on byTrusted Source:

  • trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, such as a sprain or fracture

  • an overactive pituitary gland

  • an underactive thyroid gland

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • mechanical problems in the wrist joint

  • repeated use of vibrating hand tools

  • fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause

  • the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. Read entire article by Katharine Lang MedicalNewsToday.


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