Carpal tunnel syndrome is a catchall term for repetitive motion injuries that involve the wrists. Repeated motions around a joint: wrist, knees, ankles, etc. without appropriate support or care to prevent injury can cause inflammation. The constant movement of muscles and tendons around the joint causes wear, small tears, stretching, and eventually causes the tissues to swell and become painful.
When this happens at the wrist, the swelling can cause one of two things, pain which can be treated by ice and anti-inflammatory drugs, and pressure on the ulnar nerve, again causing pain as well as numbness of the fingers. The numbness occurs because the neurons that make up the nerve bundle of the
[As a tie-in to other posts in this series, diabetics show increased susceptibility to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.]
This is a rather long-winded way to notify readers that I am having some difficulties with carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly in my left wrist with numbness in the fingers of the left hand; but also with some pain in the right wrist. This is usually transitory passing within a couple weeks, and often occurs soon after I take plane trips such as I did approximately 2 weeks ago. What this means for this blog is that to write these columns I am now dictating using Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. It works fairly well but is a slow process, because I have to frequently stop and correct technical terms. For this reason I'm a little bit behind in the planned blog posts for this week. I'm planning a follow-up post on diabetes and the brain to discuss the peripheral neuropathy that occurs in advanced cases. I also intend to finish the Guide sections on neural prosthetics and bionics before moving on to the topics that have been suggested by readers. I still have plans to complete these blogs this week and post them as time allows. However, it will take time to do so and I may get a little bit behind in the posting schedule.
Please bear with me, and I will post new content for The LabRats' Guide to the Brain as time and my wrists permit.