Carpal tunnel is more common in mature adults, but that does not mean it cannot affect children. While rare, there are cases where children do develop this condition, usually due to lifestyle habits that they’ve had for a number of years. So, can kids get carpal tunnel syndrome?
Can Kids Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs from the shoulder, down the length of the arm, and into the hand. This nerve can be compressed through specific actions.
Specifically, bending your elbows or wrists for a prolonged period of time may put pressure on the median nerve. When this pressure is too much for the nerve, you may experience the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
These symptoms are usually felt in the hands and can include tingling, numbness, and even weakness. The thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers are the most likely to be affected by these symptoms. But the pinky usually does not experience any of these sensations due to the placement of the nerve.
What Puts You at Risk for Carpal Tunnel?
As stated above, carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly associated with a prolonged bending of the elbows or wrists over a long period of time. As a result, carpal tunnel syndrome is more likely to affect adults over the age of 30.
The adults most likely to be affected are those who work in an office environment. Unfortunately, the position we tend to assume while working on the computer is ideal for causing carpal tunnel, as there is typically an exaggerated bending of the wrists and elbows.
Of course, the compression of the median nerve doesn’t happen overnight. It is usually the result of years of daily pressure on the nerve. That is why children do sometimes encounter carpal tunnel syndrome today. With the amount of school work and recreational activities associated with using a keyboard or smartphone, children are more likely to have the same prolonged, daily pressure.
When to Seek Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you or your child are only experiencing occasional symptoms, then you probably don’t need to seek medical treatment right away. Address your posture while using the computer and avoid bending your elbow or wrists when using your smartphone when possible.
As much as possible, you should also take a break from bending your arms or wrists. Try shaking it out and moving away from the computer for a moment or two. Changing your habits and addressing difficulties with posture is the easiest way to prevent your symptoms from becoming a regular thing.
With that said, if your symptoms are occurring daily, affecting your sleep, or affecting your ability to perform regular actions, then you need to see your doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment in Los Angeles.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Has your child’s carpal tunnel syndrome become severe enough to warrant a trip to your doctor? Then you will need to get a formal diagnosis. This generally requires a physical and some imaging. If the diagnosis is indeed carpal tunnel syndrome, then you will be faced with a number of treatment options.
When you’re first diagnosed, your spine surgeon in Los Angeles will likely favor nonsurgical options. These may include a splint, physical therapy, or corticosteroids to help relieve the pressure on the median nerve with the least amount of risk. These approaches are slow-acting but effective for most patients
Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t usually required, but it is an option for severe cases where other forms of treatment are ineffective. This approach is usually your doctor’s last resort, as every surgery comes with risks.