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Can Carpal Tunnel Affect Your Forearm

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What Is The Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Really in Your Neck and Causes Hand, Wrist and Forearm Pain

The carpal tunnel is a narrow canal or tube in the wrist. Similarly to a tunnel you could travel through by car, this part of the wrist allows the median nerve and tendons to connect the hand and forearm. The parts of this tunnel include:

  • Carpal bones: These bones make up the bottom and sides of the tunnel. They are formed in a semi-circle.
  • Ligament: The top of the tunnel, the ligament is a strong tissue that holds the tunnel together.

Inside the tunnel are the median nerve and tendons.

  • Median nerve: This nerve provides feeling to most of the fingers in the hand . It also adds strength to the base of the thumb and index finger.
  • Tendons: Rope-like structures, tendons connect muscles in the forearm to the bones in the hand. They allow the fingers and thumb to bend.

What Are The Symptoms Of Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Radial tunnel syndrome causes dull aching pain at the top of the forearm, to the outside of the elbow, or the back of the hand. Patients less often describe the pain as cutting, piercing, or stabbing. It happens most often when the person straightens his or her wrist or fingers.

Radial tunnel syndrome can cause fatigue and weakness in the forearm muscles and weakness in the wrist.

Radial tunnel syndrome affects the muscles, not the nerves, so it does not cause tingling or numbness in the arm, wrist, or fingers.

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Treatment For Carpal Tunnel And Tendonitis

1- The doctor might suggest you take an over the counter pain reliever like Tylenol.

2- He might suggest a Non-steroid anti-inflammatory agent. This will reduce the swelling and the pain.

3- Another suggestion is an NSAID topical sports cream that contains menthol.

4- Ice packs to the affected area for 20 minutes is another suggestion. Be sure not to put the ice directly on the skin. Leave the ice off for half an hour in between. Its suggested to apply ice after youve used the affected extremity.

5- Heat also helps relieve some of the pain. You can use a hot water bottle, a heating pad, or warmed up a towel in the microwave. Perhaps you can try a long hot bath.

6- Some doctors suggest Corticosteroid shots. This will decrease swelling and inflammation, which will decrease the pain. For carpal tunnel, it will relieve enough swelling to release the pinched nerve.

7- The doctor might suggest you use a splint, to immobilize the area, and reduce some of the pressure. This will speed up your healing.

8- The doctor will also ask you not to use the affected extremity until its properly healed. When you move it around you could cause further damage.

10- Another option you might consider is acupuncture. This has shown to help alleviate a lot of pain.

Sometimes when the above options dont work the doctor might suggest surgery.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

If carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a medical problem , your doctor should treat that problem first. Your doctor may ask you to rest your wrist or change how you use your hand. He or she may also ask you to wear a splint on your wrist. The splint keeps your wrist from moving but lets your hand do most of what it normally does. A splint can help ease the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially at night.

Putting ice on your wrist to reduce swelling, massaging the area, and doing stretching exercises may also help. An over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can relieve swelling and pain. These medicines include aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen . In more severe cases, your doctor might inject your wrist with a corticosteroid, which reduces inflammation and pain.

About Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is also caused by compression of a nerve in your arm, specifically the ulnar nerve at the elbow. This nerve passes through a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone called the cubital tunnel. When this tunnel is inflamed or injured, you experience the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome.

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When Should You See A Doctor For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

You should see a doctor anytime you have any of the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome on a regular basis. When you get care early on, you may find that basic options, such as rest or wearing a wrist brace, work well. That can allow you to avoid more invasive treatments like surgery. Without any treatment, your symptoms such as numbness and thumb weakness could become permanent.

How Can You Keep Carpal Tunnel Syndrome From Coming Back

To keep carpal tunnel syndrome from coming back, take care of your basic health. Stay at a healthy weight. Don’t smoke. Exercise to stay strong and flexible. If you have a long-term health problem, such as arthritis or diabetes, follow your doctor’s advice for keeping your condition under control.

You can also try to take good care of your wrists and hands:

  • Try to keep your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Use your whole handnot just your fingersto hold objects.
  • When you type, keep your wrists straight, with your hands a little higher than your wrists. Relax your shoulders when your arms are at your sides.
  • If you can, switch hands often when you repeat movements.

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Is There A Surgical Treatment For Radial Tunnel Syndrome

The results of surgery for radial tunnel syndrome vary. Doctors recommend surgery only when time and non-operative therapy fails.

Radial tunnel surgery is uncommon, and usually is done as an outpatient surgery . It can be done with total anesthesia or a partial anesthesia. Partial anesthesia blocks the feeling only in the arm being operated on. The patient is awake if partial anesthesia is used.

The operation to treat radial tunnel syndrome is called radial tunnel release. In this operation, the surgeon divides all compressive sites within the radial tunnel. This makes the radial tunnel bigger so the radial nerve has more space. After the operation, new tissue grows across the split, and builds a permanently larger tunnel.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? | UPMC

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that happens when the median nerve is compressed or squeezed as it passes through the wrist. This happens when the carpal tunnel inside your wrist becomes inflamed.

The median nerve controls some of the muscles that move the thumb and carries information back to the brain about sensations in your thumb and fingers.

When the nerve is squeezed it can cause tingling, numbness, pain or aching in the affected hand. Women are more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition affects people of all ages, but its more common in people over 50.

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    Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Only Happen To Office Workers Or Factory Workers

    No. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome have never done office work or worked on an assembly line. It affects people who use their wrists and hands repeatedly at work and at play. Anyone can get carpel tunnel syndrome, but it is unusual before age 20. The chance of getting carpal tunnel syndrome increases with age.

    Standard Conservative Treatments Offered By Physical Therapists

    Now that you have learned about the non-operative techniques used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome among those that experience the symptom of shoulder pain, it is time to learn about the standard conservative treatments that most physical therapists engage in.

    We specialize on natural techniques that will eliminate pain, optimize range of motion, and improve your general level of physical health without compromising other aspects of your health or encouraging you to participate in invasive procedures.

    The following outlines one of the most productive strategies for helping our patients overcome carpal tunnel syndrome with shoulder pain:

  • First, we will provide you with comprehensive information on the condition, the positions of the wrist, hand, arm, and shoulder, and proper posturing. Then, we will encourage you to take stretch breaks throughout the day in order to alleviate the symptoms that you experience with the syndrome.
  • We will educate you on exercises that you may perform that will help in building the strength of the muscles in the areas of the body that are impacted by carpal tunnel syndrome. These include the fingers, the hand, the wrist, the arm, and the shoulder. In some instances, you will also be instructed on how to perform exercises that work the muscles in the back, as well as the trunk of the body.
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    Who Is At Risk For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    People at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are those who do activities or jobs that involve repetitive finger use. Motions that can place people at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:

    • High-force .
    • Extreme wrist motions.
    • Vibration.

    Many other factors can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. These factors can include:

    • Heredity .
    • Pregnancy.
    • Amyloid deposits .

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is also more common in women than in men.

    How Does A Neck Problem Cause Hand Pain

    Chiropractic and Carpal Tunnel

    How a Neck Problem Causes Hand Pain. When a nerve root in the cervical spine becomes compressed or irritated by a problem in the neck, symptoms can appear anywhere from the shoulder all the way down into the arm, hand and fingers. Pain that travels along this nerve pathway, the radicular nerve, is called a cervical radiculopathy.

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    Who Is At Risk Of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. People with diabetes or other metabolic disorders that directly affect the bodys nerves and make them more susceptible to compression are also at high risk. CTS usually occurs only in adults.

    Workplace factors may contribute to existing pressure on or damage to the median nerve. The risk of developing CTS is not confined to people in a single industry or job, but may be more reported in those performing assembly line worksuch as manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, and meatpackingthan it is among data-entry personnel.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • How do you know that carpal tunnel syndrome is causing my symptoms?
    • What can I do to relieve my pain?
    • Are there any special exercises I can do to strengthen my hand and wrist?
    • What is the best treatment option? Will I need surgery?
    • How long will it take to recover?
    • Is it likely that Ill experience this problem again, either in this hand/arm or in my other hand/arm?

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    Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Sometimes CTS improves after 6 months without treatment, especially if youre pregnant or under 30 years old. 1 in 4 people will have no symptoms within a year without treatment.

    If symptoms are mild, having no treatment is an option. This can be reviewed if your symptoms get worse.

    If the condition’s part of a more general medical condition then treatment of that condition may help.

    How Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Lead To Shoulder Pain

    Correcting Forearm Pain Elbow Pain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Handmaster Plus

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow region in the wrist that is located on the side of the palm. It protects the tendons that are responsible for bending the fingers, as well as the median nerve. When there is too much pressure in this area, a person can experience weakness, numbness, or tingling in the fingers and hand.

    Over time, the entire functionality of a persons arm can be affected. Shoulder pain can be intense and constant, or it can occur with specific motions such as reaching overhead or behind the back. This can make it difficult to handle everyday tasks as simple as brushing your hair or putting away your groceries after a shopping trip.

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    Pain In Your Hand & Upper Arm Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    February 6, 2009 by Kathryn Merrow

    Pain from trigger points runs in typical patterns.

    If you have pain in your upper arm and hand that meets the following pattern, there is a fairly easy fix.

    Sometimes the muscles that are causing symptoms are deep inside the body, hidden under bones or other muscles. But, the cause of this pain pattern is on the outside of your shoulder blade, so that makes “treating” it easy.

    When I give directions for locating pain on your arm or body, like “outside” or “front,” that means you are standing or seated with your thumbs rotated outward or away from your body. Your thumbs are pointed away from you, sideways. Your palms are facing forward. Then “outside” or “front” always means the same thing, because we are all in the same position.

    Here’s the pain pattern:

    The most painful area is usually on the outside of your upper arm and on the front side of your upper arm, through your bicep muscle. A lesser amount of pain runs down your arm as far as the fingers That pain is usually felt on both the back side and the palm side of the hand and arm.

    You might also have quite a bit of pain on the spine side of your shoulder blade. You might also have head or neck pain at the base of your skull on the same side as the painful arm. Pain in both of these areas is caused by trigger points in the muscle on your shoulder blade and it will go away when the trigger point is resolved

    What’s a trigger point?

    A trigger point is a hyper-irritable place

    Left Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Lead To Weakness In Fingers And Thumb

    Dear Mayo Clinic:

    I’ve had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for nearly a year, and it is starting to affect my work. How effective is treatment? What are the risks of not treating it? Will it continue to get worse, or does the damage level off at some point?


    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects your hand and is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to weakness and lack of coordination in your fingers and thumb. Treatment can relieve pressure on the nerve and, for most people, eliminate their symptoms.

    The carpal tunnel is a small passageway on the palm side of your wrist. Nine tendons and the median nerve travel through the carpal tunnel. The tendons control the movement of your fingers. The median nerve serves as a pathway for the sensations you feel in your palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger and outer border of your ring finger. It also sends nerve signals that move muscles around the base of your thumb.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the space in the carpal tunnel becomes smaller, resulting in pressure on the median nerve. In its early stages, symptoms may include intermittent tingling or numbness in your thumb, index finger, middle finger and outer border of your ring finger, along with aching in the palm. Many people wake up during the night due to numbness and tingling and have to shake the hand to ease those symptoms.

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    Other Conditions Which May Be Misdiagnosed As Cts

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed due to the fact that it shares symptoms with several other conditions, including arthritis, wrist tendonitis, repetitive strain injury and thoracic outlet syndrome. Symptoms which CTS shares with other conditions include:

    • Tingling
    • Hot-and-cold sensations
    • Difficulty grasping or using oneââ¬â¢s hand

    It is important to be aware of the key differences between CTS and some other conditions which share its symptoms, in order to avoid a misdiagnosis. Other conditions which are commonly misdiagnosed as CTS include:


    Arthritis can affect all the fingers in the hand, whereas CTS cannot affect the little finger. Whereas CTS is worse at night, arthritis is not affected by the time of day. The symptoms of CTS can be absent and then suddenly become triggered by a particular activity, whereas the pain associated with arthritis is usually constantly present but alters in intensity during activities which put strain on the hands and wrists.

    Nerve compression due to conditions affecting the spine

    Conditions such as spinal disc herniation and cervical stenosis can cause nerve compression that may result in similar sensations to those of CTS.

    Wrist tendonitis

    Thoracic outlet syndrome

    Repetitive strain injury

    How Is Radial Tunnel Syndrome Treated

    carpal tunnel syndrome Archives

    Treatment begins with resting the arm from the activity that is causing the symptoms. For most patients, rest combined with medical treatment for 3 to 6 weeks will relieve symptoms.

    Treatments include:

    • Over-the-counter medications to reduce swelling
    • Steroid injections to relieve inflammation and pressure on the radial nerve
    • Wrist and/or elbow splints to reduce irritation of the radial nerve
    • Exercise, techniques to reduce the effects of repetitive motion stress, ultrasound, heat and cold

    The goal of treatment is to prevent the return of symptoms. If the job is causing the problem, the work site may need to be changed. More breaks may be needed during the workday and heavy pulling and pushing should be avoided if possible.

    For sports injuries, strength and flexibility exercises and adequate warm-up time before playing or practicing are important.

    Wearing an arm splint at night can keep the arm in a position that prevents pinching the nerve.

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    Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented Or Avoided

    You can take steps to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. The following actions may help to prevent it:

    • Lose weight if youre overweight.
    • Get treatment for any disease you have that may cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • If you do the same tasks over and over with your hands, try not to bend, extend, or twist your hands for long periods of time.
    • Dont work with your arms too close or too far from your body.
    • Dont rest your wrists on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
    • Switch hands during work tasks.
    • Make sure the tools you use arent too big for your hands.
    • Take regular breaks from repeated hand movements to give your hands and wrists time to rest.
    • If you use a keyboard a lot, adjust the height of your chair so that your forearms are level with your keyboard, and you dont have to flex your wrists to type.

    Many products you can buy, such as wrist rests for a computer keyboard, are supposed to ease symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. No one has proven that these products really prevent wrist problems. Some people may have less pain and numbness after using these products, but other people may have increased pain and numbness.

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