Repetitive Motion Disorders & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive motion disorders (RMDs) occur from overuse of the parts affected, most commonly the hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders; however they can also occur in the neck, back, and feet. These disorders come about from tissue injuries that develop over time and are worsened by the average way of life. It is not uncommon these days to witness people of all ages succumbing to symptoms of these disorders, one of the most common being carpal tunnel syndrome.

RMDs are extremely common as over 3 million new cases are reported each year in the United States. Millions more who do not seek medical attention for their symptoms are also affected. RMDs are a group of disorders that affect the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons and are typically caused by improper technique, overuse, or a combination of the two. Usually, they arise from performing an excess of repeated motions with insufficient interruption. Repetitive motion disorders all bring upon the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Visible swelling
  • Redness
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Loss of strength 

Although there are some non-occupational issues like arthritis, diabetes, wrist cysts, and even menopause or pregnancy that can prompt RMDs, these disorders mostly stem from physical activity. Repetitive tasks such as sewing/ knitting, typing, assembling parts, spraying a spray bottle, and using hand tools for long periods of time are just some activities that apply excess stress to the joints. Over time, ignoring these symptoms can cause permanent damage to the soft tissues in the body. Soft tissues are tendons, ligaments, fascia, connective tissues, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. All of these play a key role in mobility.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Numbness or pain in the thumb, index, and middle fingers are all common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel exclusively affects the hands and wrists and affects mostly those who use their hands for extended periods of time. Tasks that require repetitive hand motions, unnatural hand positions, a firm grip, mechanical stress on the palms, and vibration are associated with carpal tunnel.

In carpal tunnel, the median nerve that extends from the forearm into the palm becomes pinched at the wrist. This nerve is responsible for controlling sensations to the thumb and fingers. It also sends impulses to hand muscles responsible for finger and thumb movement This nerve lies in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand. When tendons become irritated and swell, this causes compression on the median nerve. 

Common carpal tunnel symptoms include:

  • Burning and tingling
  • Numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers
  • Sensations of swelling in the fingers when no swelling is actually present 

These symptoms can occur in just one or both hands and wrists, and if ignored they can lead to a weakening of one’s grip as well as difficulty using one’s hands to form a fist, grab small objects or perform routine manual tasks. In extreme cases, one may lose his ability to differentiate between hot and cold.

The pain and discomfort from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be relieved with the help of pain control specialists from Garden State Pain Control. Book an appointment by calling 973-777-5444 today.