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The diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious medical concern, as it can hinder your ability to do your job and partake in the activities you enjoy. For example, if you type for a living, you may begin to develop carpal tunnel syndrome over time. Unless treated in the appropriate manner, you'll find it difficult to perform your day-to-day tasks.

The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome typically includes the following:

  • Review of your history: Your doctor will review your symptoms, while also asking key questions about your injury. Make sure you're honest with your doctor about your symptoms and when they occur.
  • Physical exam: Expect your doctor to test for feeling and strength in your wrist and fingers.
  • X-ray: While not always necessary, an X-ray gives your doctor an inside look at the area, thus helping rule out other concerns such as a bone fracture or arthritis.

Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?

If the answer is yes, your doctor will discuss a variety of treatment methods. Nonsurgical therapy is preferred, and this typically includes:

  • Wearing a splint: For example, if you wear this while you're sleeping, it can prevent nighttime symptoms and additional damage.
  • Corticosteroids: An injection of cortisone into the injured area can reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: For example, Advil and Motrin are effective in the short-term relief of pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Is surgery necessary?

It's safe to say you want to avoid surgery, but it may be the best way to treat your problem once and for all.

Generally speaking, the goal of surgery is to relieve pressure on the median nerve. There are two types of surgery:

  • Open surgery
  • Endoscopic surgery

While both have been proven successful, endoscopic surgery is often preferred as it's less invasive and has a shorter recovery period.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be debilitating, especially if you don't have the ability to rest your hand (or hands) as a result of your profession.

Rather than continue to fight through the pain, consult with an experienced professional to discuss your options. From there, learn more about your right to receive Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income (SSD/SSI) benefits in California. This compensation can ease your financial worries as you recover.

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