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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Research Paper Example

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Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a painful condition that affects the hand wrist that results from the aggravation of the median nerve in the wrist owing to several factors. Due to the nature of the condition, it is crucial to analyze all the aspects that comprise the condition…
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Download file to see previous pages Symptoms and signs Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by a myriad of signs and symptoms; of which the most common is pain in the wrist. This is accompanied by numbness, tingling or a burning pain that occurs in the volar aspects of one or both hands, which is noted especially at night or after work (Washington State Department of Labor and Industries 4). The most common symptoms occur at night, and are thus referred to as nocturnal symptoms and occur to a majority of patients with the condition. As a result, patients suffering for the condition often have to wake up in the night to shake their hands in an attempt to relieve the symptoms they experience (Washington State Department of Labor and Industries 4). Usually, the pain involves the entire hand or is confined to the thumb and the first two or three fingers; in this regard, the symptoms are localized. In addition, patients suffering from the condition may experience weakness in their fingers and paresthesias. Furthermore, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include the unusual trait of ascending the arm in a manner that imitates radiculitis syndromes (Taylor 1). In this light, patients tend to be clumsy in operations that involve manipulations using their hands in that they often drop things. Apart from these, they are insensitive to the pain associated with pinpricks in the index and middle fingers. In addition, slowed nerve conduction velocity is observed in the wrist translating to increased reaction time in manual manipulations. In severe cases, sensation in the hand and wrist are lost altogether; a permanent change while thumb muscles may lose functionality. Etiology The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are widely known despite the association with pressure median nerve at the wrist, as well as performing tasks or activities requiring prolonged dorsiflexion and simultaneous finger flexion (gripping) (Taylor 3). In addition, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with the repeated performance of stressful motions with one’s hand or holding the hand in one position for prolonged periods. This makes the condition to be classified as a cumulative trauma disorder; a condition that attacks the musculoskeletal system (American Physical Therapy Association 2). This is because, the musculoskeletal systems consist of muscles that pull on the tendons and move the bones found at the joints. With this information, it is evident that carpal tunnel syndrome impacts sensory nerves and blood vessels in the wrists and hands. As a result, it is likely to be caused by poor blood circulation in the hand and wrist. This is according to studies that show the populations of the society that are at risk. These include all men and women who participate in activities that require the same movements of the hand to be repeated over and over again. Such include meat packers and typists who spend a great deal of time making repetitive motions with their hands and wrists. At the same time, they rest their wrists and palms on the surfaces of the devices they use leading to the compression of the distal median nerve and an elevated pressure in the carpal tunnel. The injury, in turn, brings about the aforementioned symptoms mainly from the first to the fourth digits of the hand (Napadow et al. 159). Diagnosis In order to diagnose the condition, there exist a number of means to do so. These include physical examinations although they are not diagnostic means by themselves in any case. The one standard that is applied in the diagnosis of the condition is the nerve conduction studies (Aroori and Spence 6). However, the studies are usually not conclusive as they yield both positive and negative results for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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