Although you may find it surprising, it is possible for children to develop carpal tunnel. The primary reason we associate carpal tunnel with adults and particularly adult women is that those two categories are more likely to work in vocations where they perform repetitive movements with their hands and wrists. With that in mind, let’s have a look at what carpal tunnel is, what increases your risk, as well as what you can do to prevent and how your neurosurgeon in Los Angeles can help to treat the condition. So, can kids get carpal tunnel?
Can Kids Get Carpal Tunnel?
To put it simply, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of repetitive pressure on the median nerve caused by the surrounding tendons and bones in the wrists. It can be difficult to identify in its early stages, but you may notice some tingling or numbness in your fingers. The thumb, pointer, and middle fingers are the most commonly afflicted as a result. In more serious cases, you may experience weakness in your hands. For the most part, this weakness is focused in the thumb joint, making it difficult to hold items.
What Increases Your Risk?
The primary cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive motion. Anyone who types, plays video games, works on an assembly line, or styles hair on a regular basis is more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This risk also appears to increase after the age of thirty, but it’s less clear whether this is a result of age or a result of time spent in a particular vocation or activity.
In addition to vocational and recreational activities, there are a few other prominent risk factors. If you have ever suffered a wrist fracture, then you are also more susceptible. You may also be at heightened risk if you have conditions that feature nerve damage, inflammation, or fluid retention.
What Can You Do to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The best thing you can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to take regular breaks from repetitive activities. Of course, this can be difficult if your job requires repetitive motion. But taking a few moments to stretch or adjust your position every once in a while can really help to keep carpal tunnel at bay.
In addition to taking breaks, you can also be more aware of how you hold your wrists and your posture. In particular, be wary of rolling your shoulders forward or flexing your wrists entirely up or down. Keeping your shoulders back and your wrists flat can help to reduce pressure placed on the medial nerve. The final thing you can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to keep your wrists and hands as relaxed as possible.
How Do You Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment begins conservatively in order to test the least invasive options first. The first steps will often include medication to reduce inflammation and discomfort. This happens as the patient works on activity modifications with the help of their neurosurgeon. If the condition persists, braces may be used to hold the wrist in a position that reduces pressure on the median nerve.
In most cases, it is best to try conservative treatments for a few months before considering the next step. If all conservative treatments fail, then your neurosurgeon may consider surgery. The good news is that surgery is rarely necessary. Carpal tunnel can usually be treated with behavior modification and medication. Therefore, do you or your child seem to be showing signs of carpal tunnel? It may be time to begin with behavior modification. Then contact your local Los Angeles neurosurgeon for assistance.