View Full Version : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ( CTS)

01-11-2007, 03:31 PM
How many times has it happened that your wrists have hurt after you've been sitting at the computer for a while ??

If the answer is sometimes, a lot or even occassionally — and if you are reading this — then you too are at the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

For those who go 'Huh?', CTS comes in the form of a tingling or numbness in the hand and wrist, or even a sharp, piercing pain that shoots through the wrist and up the arm. For those who dismissed this as a passing cramp, please take notice immediately.

CTS is a painful condition caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist. It can begin in a mild form that is hardly noticeable, but can rapidly become very painful and even crippling if left untreated. If you already have any of these symptoms, you definitely need to see your doctor at the earliest; and popping pain-killers is NOT the answer to your problem. Here's what you can do.

What you can do Does this mean we stop using computers? Of course not. While CTS is caused by computer usage, it caused more by 'wrong' computer usage. Incorrect posture According to Dr Kamal Bachani (senior orthopaedic consultant at Modi Hospital, Delhi), one of the main causes of CTS is incorrect posture. While working on the computer, it is very important to give support to the wrist and elbow. Improving one's posture gives almost immediate relief to the problem. Use support If a person is diagnosed early on, conservative treatment can cure the syndrome and surgery is not required. Doctors recommend the use of a splint or brace around the wrist to give it support, as a corrective measure of CTS. Correct typing habits Another important thing one needs to be aware of is to establish the correct typing habit. While typing, it is important that the arm, wrist and hand remain in a straight line, and are supported on something instead of hanging mid air. This is because the fingers are controlled by muscles that are connected to tendons which go through the wrist and down along the arm. If there is a bend anywhere in this sequence, friction occurs which will lead to stress, inflammation and injury. Related to other illnesses However Dr Bachani adds, people who have diabetes, thyroid and during pregnancy are more prone to CTS. This is because of lack of fluid in the body. It is therefore imperative for these people to consume plenty of water, 14 – 15 glasses a day. Although CTS is now a common condition in India, it remains largely undiagnosed. It is therefore imperative to work towards the right posture; and more importantly consult a doctor immediately, if you suffer from any of the syndromes. For those already suffering the good news is that 60-70 % of the cases can be treated non-surgical means. So next time your wrist or arm hurts after working on the comp, don't take it lightly.