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by: Dr. Charmagne Anne Sunico

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist called the carpal tunnel. It can cause tingling, numbness and/or weakness in the hands and arms.

Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible, under a doctor's direction. Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first. One may want to consider non-surgical treatments initially, like: splinting, avoiding daytime activities that may provoke symptoms, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medicines, alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic care. However, the effectiveness of alternative therapies remains unproved. If suggested by the doctor, depending on the severity of the condition, one may undergo surgery to release the nerve from within the carpal tunnel sheath.

For prevention, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, and ensure correct posture and wrist position. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the worker's wrist to maintain a natural position during work. Jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can develop programs in ergonomics, the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Mayo Clinic

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