Our Hands and Quality of Life With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

We sometimes take our hands for granted and fail to realize just how important they are to everyday life and indeed, living our life. Hands tell us who we are through our gestures and unique talents. If you think about all they do, everyday, from tying our shoes to generating income, it is staggering. Our hands also occupy a big place in our brains. The nerve cells in the brain are devoted, to a large degree, to hand function. It takes a lot of brainpower to play a guitar or piano, to write an essay, or to caress a friend with a loving touch.

So when hand function is diminished, the loss can be devastating. Such is the case with carpal tunnel syndrome. To anyone who suffers from this disorder, the loss is obvious. When quality of life is studied in those with carpal tunnel syndrome, there are many aspects that are affected. Researchers (J Hand Surg Am 24(2):398) have learned that physical functioning is greatly affected. A person may not be able to work or engage in the hobbies they once loved. What’s more, there is also diminished mental quality of life, and reductions in vitality in these patients.

Our clinic treats patients with carpal tunnel symptoms in a comprehensive manner. We try to find the cause of the nerve compression. Sometimes it’s at the wrist and sometimes the neck is affected creating radiating pain down into the hand. Sometimes both the wrist and neck are affected (this is called double crush syndrome). In any case, getting back on to the road of recovery begins with an accurate diagnosis. Our treatments are specific to the cause of your problem. If the problem has been long term, then you may need rehabilitative exercises to restore the strength of your arm muscles and some patients will require different stretching techniques to help loosen tight muscles. If your neck is out of alignment or has poor posture, this may also need to be corrected for full recovery to occur. Eating the proper foods that do not add to wrist inflammation may also be a part of your care plan.