HealthDiseases and Conditions

Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Treatment, Prevention

Tunnel syndrome, or tunnel-ischemic neuropathy is usually called a painful condition, in which the nerve is squeezed into a kind of vice from the muscles, tendons and bones. It manifests itself, first of all, by numbness and slight tingling in the limb. Most tunnel syndromes are accompanied by pains, often quite strong: sometimes to ease the patient's condition, a novocain blockade is required . In total, more than thirty forms of these states are described.

The emergence of tunnel pathologies is due to various causes. Many people have a predisposition to them - a congenital anatomical narrowness of the canal in which the nerve passes. But this one reason alone is not enough for the tunnel syndrome to make itself felt. Contribute to its development of the disease, which is accompanied by changes in tendons and bone tissues - in particular, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as diseases of the endocrine system (hypothyroidism, diabetes). The gender of the patient also matters: the tunnel syndrome is much less common in men than in women. Often it occurs as a result of a trauma - a fracture, a dislocation, or even a severe bruise. To his appearance also lead the same type of movement, repeated over a long period of time. This factor, according to experts, plays a leading role in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is often called "professional illness of office workers".

Carpal tunnel syndrome, in which the pain is concentrated in the area of the hand, is one of the most common tunnel pathologies. The pain with it is often given to the shoulder region and is so strong that the patient can not sleep peacefully at night. The compression takes place in the so-called carpal canal, through which the median nerve passes . Those whose work is associated with small wrist movements, this disease occurs three times more often. A few hundred years ago in Europe it was called "a disease of clerks": they had to sit for hours copying papers, they often suffered from pain in the right hand.

The main thing in treating the acute stage of any tunnel syndrome is to create a complete peace for the patient. To immobilize the limbs are used various devices traditionally used by traumatologists: bandages, tires, langets. The main task of treatment is to reduce the pressure of the nerve - for example, to remove swelling. When the forms of the disease are not shown, therapeutic methods are shown: cold or, conversely, heat, physioprocedures. Often these methods of treatment are enough to prevent the tunnel syndrome from disturbing the patient.

Drug treatment includes anti-inflammatory therapy (ibuprofen, diclofenac), injections of anesthetic with hormones into the area of infringement. If the patient has an old and progressive tunnel syndrome, the treatment can be surgical: a so-called audit (release) of the nerve is performed. The operation of the patient with a diagnosis of "carpal tunnel syndrome" takes no more than half an hour. It is quite effective and does not pose a threat to the life of the patient. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the functions of the damaged nerve after it are completely restored and the symptoms of the tunnel syndrome no longer return.

As a prophylaxis of tunnel syndromes, moderate physical activities that promote relaxation are recommended. It is also very important to form and maintain the correct motor stereotype: follow the posture, move smoothly, without sudden movements. To avoid the same carpal tunnel syndrome, it is necessary to properly equip the workplace - so that during work it is possible to relax your wrist. The chair should be with a comfortable, ergonomic backrest, with armrests. It is important that the angle between the shoulder and forearm is about 90 degrees - while the arm will rest on the elbow, not on the wrist. Every 40-60 minutes, you need to take a break from work to stretch your hands: shake and rotate them, squeeze and unclench your fingers. If these simple rules are observed, it is quite possible to avoid the emergence of carpal tunnel syndrome.

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