Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Teenagers

By Candice Coleman
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Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect people from all walks of life, including teenagers. Repetitive motions can cause problems in a teenager's hands. If your teenager suspects that she has carpal tunnel, she should contact her doctor for an evaluation and treatment options. Left untreated, carpal tunnel can become a debilitating disorder that impacts your teenager at school and work.

Symptoms

Teenagers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome may notice a lot of sensations in their hands, fingers, wrists and other surrounding areas, like feelings of tightness, numbness and soreness, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also affect the hand's mobility, strength and dexterity. Though you may occasionally wake up with numb hands, people affected by carpal tunnel syndrome often find that their smallest finger is not numb, says Seattle Children's Hospital.

Risks

A teenager's line of work can have the greatest impact on developing carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic. Those who frequently use a computer mouse that involves bending the wrist, along with hairstylists and others who have jobs that require repetitive motions, are most affected. People who have diabetes, those who suffer from alcoholism or obesity, or teenagers who are pregnant can also be at greater risk for the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Women are considerably more likely to develop carpal tunnel than men.

Treating Carpal Tunnel

One of the first lines of defense against carpal tunnel is reducing or eliminating any tasks involving repetitive motions, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. A doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, according to KidsHealth. Administering corticosteroids and splinting the wrist are also possible solutions. In some cases, carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused by an underlying condition, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treating the underlying condition can relieve carpal tunnel symptoms. If you regularly use computers, using touch screens or a trackball mouse may relieve symptoms if the wrist is kept in a neutral position, according to Cornell University Ergonomics Web.

Additional Help

In some people, carpal tunnel syndrome will persist even when medications are taken. Surgery may be necessary to improve symptoms and restore hand function, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors may suggest moving your hands after surgery, gradually moving them more and more in the first weeks and months following surgery to restore your strength. In severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, mild symptoms may continue after surgery.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.