There are not a few people who hold smartphones or computers all day long. Because of this, my hands are overworked. If you use your hands or wrists a lot like this, you are easily exposed to ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’.
According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, a total of 166,094 patients were treated for carpal tunnel syndrome last year. That is, about 455 people a day are being treated for this disease. The number of female patients is three times higher than that of males, and it occurs mainly in people in their 40s to 60s.
Lee Sang-wook, an orthopedic surgeon at Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “Recently, the number of carpal tunnel syndrome patients is increasing among housewives who frequently use smartphones or computers for a long time or do a lot of housework and raising children. Early treatment is important as it can lead to motor dysfunction if muscle atrophy or muscle atrophy.”
◇The main cause is repeated use of the wrist… Pain and numbness in the hands and wrists
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common condition that causes numbness in the hands and wrist pain. The main cause is repeated use of the wrist. If you use your wrist a lot, the carpal tunnel (carpal tunnel) becomes inflamed or the muscles or ligaments swell. This occurs when the median nerve is compressed.
The median nerve is responsible for the thumb and half of the senses of the second, third, and fourth fingers, as well as some motor functions of the thumb, and is involved in hand sensation or the muscle function of picking up objects with the thumb.
In addition, carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused by infection or deformation caused by a wrist fracture, joint dislocation, or tumor. In addition, the frequency of occurrence is high in people who use a computer keyboard a lot for work or who work in packaging, and people who repeatedly bend and straighten their wrists, such as bad habits. In addition, obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid dysfunction occur in many cases.
Professor Lee Sang-wook said, “Carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t happen suddenly overnight. If you experience pain or numbness in your hands or wrists after working with a lot of hands, you may be suspicious.”
◇Steroid injections are only temporary
The main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, numbness, and paresthesia in the palms, fingers, and wrists. In particular, if the symptoms are severe, you may feel a burning pain in the hand, and the thumb muscle may atrophy and become flat.
To diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, basic nerve percussion tests, carpal flexion tests, and median nerve compression tests are performed. The diagnosis can be confirmed by performing radiological examinations, electromyography, or nerve conduction tests to determine the exact area of damage.
Correcting incorrect posture is the most important to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If the symptoms are relatively mild, refrain from using your wrist excessively.
Symptoms can be temporarily relieved by taking anti-inflammatory drugs or by injecting steroids into the carpal tunnel, but there is a high probability of recurrence. Surgery is recommended if the pain continues for more than 3 months despite this treatment, or if the thumb and other fingers continue to be numb and there is muscle atrophy of the thumb (thumb muscle area).
The operation is to widen the carpal tunnel by cutting the transverse carpal ligament, and the operation time is only about 10 minutes, so patients can be admitted to the hospital and discharged from the hospital on the same day, resulting in a high level of satisfaction with the treatment.
Professor Lee Sang-wook said, “Carpal tunnel syndrome is most often caused by working with a low wrist position, so it is better to keep your wrist and fingers in equilibrium as if you were playing a piano when working on a computer.” “Pain or numbness in the hand or wrist If you experience any suspicious symptoms such as
– A tingling or burning sensation in the fingertips, numbness or pain occurs.
-The thumb, second finger, third finger, and fourth finger half of the thumb and connected palm skin sensation is dull.
– My hands are numb while driving.
-The pain is especially severe at night, so I often have trouble sleeping.
-If it worsens gradually, muscle atrophy on the thumb side occurs and this area becomes flat.
-Effective work may become difficult, and there may be difficulties in careful movement in daily life, such as buttoning.
-The grip strength is low, so you may drop items frequently, have trouble with chopsticks, lose the power to turn the bottle opener, or weaken the power to weave laundry.
– The skin on the palms becomes shiny or dry.
Kwon Dae-ik medical journalist [email protected]
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