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Carpal tunnel, which 1 in 10 Italians can suffer from – Medicine

Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect up to 1 in 10 people in Italy. That’s the estimate of scientists from the Catholic University of Rome, and the IRCCS Gemelli Polyclinic run by Luca Padua, who evaluated the pathology in a work published in The Lancet Neurology. “Today – explains Padova – we have acquired increasingly better diagnostic methods and ultrasound systems are also coming to our aid.” As for treatments, the syndrome may require different types of therapeutic interventions, including surgery; But the first step in treating the syndrome is conservative treatment with braces that reduce pressure on the wrist and corticosteroid injections by limiting movements. Surgery should be reserved for more severe and more advanced compressions.

Carpal tunnel is the most common type of neuropathy, with a certain impact on the NHS in terms of costs. It consists in the suffering of the median nerve at the level of its passage in the carpal tunnel, that is, at the wrist. Through painful or inflammatory mechanisms, an increase in pressure can occur within this structure which can cause nerve damage. The pathology often presents with nocturnal symptoms, characterized by paresthesia and pain in the hand, with possible irradiation in the forearm and arm. Over time, these symptoms also appear during the day, often after prolonged use of the hand.

In severe cases, there is a loss of feeling and strength in the hand. Although there are no specific data on this, it is possible that a potential increase in cases may be recorded in certain groups of individuals, for example in older subjects or in those suffering from some rare disease. Prolonged use of devices such as smartphones is likely to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, as shown in some recent studies in small populations.

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Covid can also contribute to the onset of this syndrome, Padova confirms: two clinical cases were described in medical hypotheses by a group of the Universities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, possibly following an inflammatory reaction of the cartilage caused by the virus, with consequent compression. of the nerve at the level of the wrist. (handle).

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