Just as a linebacker can be sidelined by a knee injury, carpal tunnel syndrome can make life very difficult for you if your working hours are mostly spent in front of a computer. While carpal tunnel syndrome may not be as sexy as that knee injury, it’s no less debilitating and can interfere with your productivity in significant ways.
At Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management, our team of experienced pain management specialists, led by Dr. Shailesh (Shay) Pathare and Dr. Sathish Modugu, understand the limitations that conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can place on your working life. And we can provide you with the tools necessary to keep you in the game, or in the office in this case.
Here’s a look at how we can help you better manage your carpal tunnel syndrome at your office.
The makings of carpal tunnel syndrome
Before we get into effective interventional treatments for your carpal tunnel syndrome, let’s take a quick look at how this condition develops in the first place. Your carpal tunnel is a small passageway located on the underside of your wrist that’s made up of small carpal bones and ligaments. While small in size, this tunnel is as busy as Lincoln Tunnel on a weekday as it provides passage for nine flexor tendons as well as your median nerve.
If the tissues surrounding your flexor tendons swell, it places pressure on your median nerve, which can lead to pain in your wrist and hands (and it sometimes travels back up your arm), as well as tingling and numbness.
This swelling usually stems from overstressing your flexor tendons (think hours of keyboard work day after day), as well as poor positioning of your wrists while you work. The syndrome tends to occur more in women who have smaller carpal tunnels, but there’s also a strong hereditary component as you may have inherited a smaller carpal tunnel.
Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome
If you’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome, our primary goal is to alleviate the pain and discomfort so that you can function normally at the office again. Typically, we like to start out conservatively with splinting and anti-inflammatory medications. By reducing the swelling and placing your wrist in a better position, you can relieve much of the pressure on your median nerve.
If these measures fail to bring you relief, we can go more direct with a corticosteroid injection, which contains a steroid for inflammation and a local anesthetic for the pain.
For longer-term results, we’ve also had great success with platelet-rich plasma therapy, which helps reduce your swelling and encourages cell renewal and repair.
As well, we recommend nerve-gliding exercises, which will help your median nerve move more freely within your carpal tunnel.
You can do your part by taking frequent breaks to give the tendons and the nerve in your carpal tunnel a much-needed rest.
If you have more questions about dealing with your carpal tunnel syndrome at the office, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York.