Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most frequently studied upper-extremity nerve-entrapment condition. As a result, a comprehensive understanding and definition of this problem has developed.
Unfortunately, because CTS is well known, it has become a very popular diagnosis. There is a tendency to immediately conclude the presence of CTS when someone complains of pain or paresthesia in the hand or forearm region.
CTS is common as a work-related, repetitive-motion injury. It occurs more often in women than in men, though there is no evidence that it is gender-specific.
Rather, the incidence of the condition correlates to certain occupations. People who work on factory assembly lines, with computers, or in other jobs that require repetitive motion are more prone to CTS. Women are more highly represented in these types of positions than are men, which may be why CTS is more common among women.
Effective solutions to treatment and prevention of CTS are sorely needed. Accurate diagnosis of the condition is critical, as other nerve entrapment syndromes are also able to produce some of the symptoms noted in CTS.
For example, thoracic outlet syndrome may create paresthesia in the hand similar to CTS. Massage performed by a knowledgeable and skilled massage therapist may be an affordable and effective alternative to traditional approaches that have proven unsuccessful. At the least, most CTS cases will benefit greatly from treatment strategies that incorporate soft-tissue therapy."
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