Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the occupational disease of the 21st century. Do you have it?
Nationalhcs staff and HCPs spend a lot of time working on computers with electronic files, email, research, and texts. All of this puts us at risk. For information on “What is CTS? Do you have it?” read below and ask your physician for a diagnosis if you feel you may have these symptoms.
- Tingling and numbness in the hand, fingers, and wrist
- Swelling of the fingers
- Dry palms
- Blanching (whitening upon pressure) of the hand
- Hand pain so intense that it awakens you at night
- Similar symptoms in the upper arm, elbow, shoulder, or neck
Just about anyone can get CTS. Years ago telegraph operators, seamstresses, carpenters, and meat cutters were the main sufferers from this condition. Today its office workers, computer operators, musicians, and assembly line workers, among others. Looking closely you can see that not only are the wrists being used to perform repetitive tasks, but the neck and entire spinal column are also involved in activities.
The medical approach to CTS is to stop using the wrist, in the same way, be wearing a splint (wrist immobilization). Resting the wrist has worked for many people. In others, ice or anti-inflammatories were needed. As many as 100,000 operations a year are performed for CTS and recovery can take longer than 6 months.