Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common and painful disease, especially common in women over the age of forty. CTS is caused by pressure at the wrist on the nerve running from the wrist to the hand, also known as the median nerve.

Signs and symptoms

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes intensive and often deep chronic pain in the hand, which sometimes radiates to the elbow and/or shoulder. People may also experience annoying tingling and irritations in the hand and arm. In addition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can lead to numbness in hands or fingers and loss of strength. At night, symptoms often increase in severity leading to sleeplessness. However, symptoms may also occur during the day. After intensive manual labour the condition may deteriorate. Sometimes, CTS occurs in both hands.

A short summary of the symptoms:

  • Severe and deep pain in hand
  • Sometimes pain radiates to the elbow and/or shoulder.
  • At night, pain increases.
  • Tingling and irritations in hand and arm
  • Numbness of hand
  • Numb feeling in fingers
  • Decreased strength in hand (dropping things)

 

Causes

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure in the nerve (the median nerve) at the wrist. This nerve runs from the lower arm to the hand.

The nerve swells due to the consistent pressure, which in turn increases the pain. Also, the pressure causes inflammatory cells to develop in the nerve, which makes the swelling worse. The continuous irritation creates a vicious cycle. The pain intensifies and can even become chronic.

Hormones can play a role in the swelling of the connective tissue. The fact is that the syndrome occurs during pregnancy and menopause, and sometimes in cases when the thyroid gland functions too slowly and in cases of overproduction of growth hormones. Rheumatism and intensive manual labour can also be the cause. In addition, diabetes mellitus can also lead to CTS. There are also other causes of CTS, such as a fracture.

The pain becomes worse because the nerve swells due to the continuous pressure. Inflammatory cells are formed in the nerve and this increases the swelling. The continuous irritation creates a vicious cycle. The pain intensifies and can even become chronic.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of CTS can often be established based on discussing the symptoms. In addition, a neuromuscular evaluation, i.e. electromyography (EMG), can be carried out for further confirmation.

Pain treatment

Two different studies have shown that PEA can reduce pain in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as well as its various symptoms. This also applies in cases of diabetes. Furthermore, the studies showed that the function of the nerves, which were measured by means of a nerve conduction study, had significantly improved after treatment with PEA.

In principle, several treatments are possible:

  • No treatment in cases of minor complaints or in cases of passing complaints.
  • Treatment with PEA: PEA almost never causes side-effects and usually has positive effects. PEA is a 100% natural remedy. In order to get the most out of PEA, it is recommended to use PEA for at least two months. If after one month, you have the feeling that PEA is not working optimally, you can double the dosage. The use of PEA over a period of two months is a realistic evaluation period. After these two months, you can determine the follow-up treatment. After all, some patients might respond more slowly because the effects of PEA occur through the natural mechanism of the body.

The two most common PEA products on the market are PeaPure, produced by JP Russel Science Ltd, a supplement that can be ordered worldwide and PEA tablets, produced by Epitech Group S.r.l., an Italian preparation available in pharmacies in Italy and Spain, among others places.

 

If PEA does not have the desired effect after this trial period of two months, patients can choose the following:

  • Take measurements for a splint, which gives the wrist rest and may reduce the complaints.
  • A cortisone injection combined with a local anaesthetic, or an operation.
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