Give some Rest to your Wrists!
An increase in the number of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases is largely caused by modern lifestyle.
Bengaluru: Doctors observed a 30 per cent increase in the number of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases in the last two years. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS), a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, is a common condition of the median nerve causing pain and numbness in fingers and hands. Dr.B.N. Nagaraj, an orthopaedic specialist at Sai Ortho and Dental Centre, who has26 years of experience as a surgeon, says, “The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in females and in urban population. The cases from rural population are really less. The number of surgeries also increased, because more and more people, especially the educated lot are opting for surgeries as they want faster relief. They have googled everything and they hate to wait for medicines to work.”
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, although a common condition today, becomes very painful if not treated within time and can often affect one’s daily routine. Archita Nany, a government employee, talks about her struggles as she was diagnosed with CTS in 2019, as a post-partum condition. She says, “I delivered my child in July 2019 and after a few months I was diagnosed with CTS as a post-partum issue. This occurred because of my incorrect hand posture which aggravated it. It is very painful and inconvenient as I had started facing issues in holding and feeding my child.”
2018 research from the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology stated that nearly 6% of the general Indian population suffers from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with more than 40% of the cases being milder, that can be easily treated with slight medication and exercises within two weeks, while the rest might need intensive care and sometimes surgery. Research from the Indian Journal of Dental Research found that around 80% of the total population of dentists, that have been practising for more than five years in the regions of Dakshin Kannada and Coorg, show symptoms of CTS. Besides, data of research from the International Journal of Scientific Study indicate that the greatest number of CTS cases are diagnosed in construction workers, drill machine workers, gardeners, drivers, chefs, office clerks, butchers and potters.
Doctors point out several lifestyle factors that contribute to a constant increase in such cases. Dr Banerji BH, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon at Sakra World Hospital states, “Modern lifestyle factors like using electronic gadgets excessively and not taking frequent breaks when working or even playing musical instruments exert stress on the wrist and fingers that causes narrowing of the carpal tunnel creating a pressure on the median nerve in our hands.” Apart from this, obesity and hyperthyroidism are other major causes.
Experts suggest that people should ensure correct positioning of wrists and take breaks during long working hours. Mrs. Medhavi Agarwal, an MD in community health medicine, states, “Nobody is asking you to not use electronic gadgets. You need to use it frequently. However, it’s better to limit its use. But one has to make sure the positioning of the hands.” Also, one should eat healthy to avoid conditions like diabetes, obesity and hyperthyroidism That contribute to the risk of catching this syndrome.