What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

This is a set of symptoms which is caused by compression of the Median nerve as it passes through the wrist. It is a common condition and most commonly occurs in people aged 40-50. It is common in pregnancy and also people with Thyroid disease or arthritis. Women are more affected than men.

What is the carpal tunnel?
The Carpal tunnel is formed on three side of the wrist by eight small bones called the carpal bones. The fourth and palmer side is formed by a band of fibrous tissue called the Retinaculum. Through this tunnel travel the tendons that work the hand and the Median nerve. This nerve supplies feeling to the thumb, index, middle & half of the ring finger.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pins and needles of the fingers are common. Pain is common and is often worse at night. Numbness can occur in bad cases and there may even be muscle wasting at the base of the thumb.

What are the causes?
The cause is poorly understood in most cases and often occurs out of the blue. Either the tunnel is too small or the tendons swell. The tunnel can become narrower if a person has arthritis .The tendons can become swollen if there is repeated minor trauma. This can happen in people who use power tools or hammers for long periods. There are other conditions that cause water retention such as pregnancy, thyroid disease, diabetes and the menopause.

How is it diagnosed?
Your Doctor will usually diagnose it easily because of the symptoms but occasionally nerve conduction studies are done at the hospital.

What are the treatments?
Initially pain killers and anti-inflammatories are given to ease the symptoms, and any associated illnesses are treated. Some cases will settle down especially those occurring in pregnancy. Wrist splints can be worn at night and may work after a few weeks. Steroid injections into the carpal tunnel can help but may be painful initially. Cases that don’t settle may need surgery. This usually cures the problem and is often done under local anaesthetic.

How do magnets help?
Zing magnets are placed on Traditional Acupuncture Points. Acupuncture uses a needle to stimulate the point but Zing uses magnets to achieve the same result. The magnets are place on the points and can be left there permanently if needed. It is thought that acupuncture and magnet acupressure reduces inflammation of the tendons, reduces swelling thereby releasing pressure on the Median nerve. Zing magnets are a useful alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments and are safe.

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