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Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Upper Arm Pain

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What If I Have Surgery

[Education Series] Back Pain, Neck Pain, Carpal Tunnel, Numbness in Arms Hands, Sciatica

While surgery is an option for carpal tunnel syndrome, most physical therapists do not recommend it; however, there are some instances in which a medical professional will deem surgery necessary. If this ends up being the case, you will likely be referred to us; following your surgery for rehabilitation therapy. Then, there are very rare cases where we may refer you for surgical consultation.

If surgery is performed, you will have a post-operative physical therapy treatment regimen that includes one or all of the following:

  • First, you will be encouraged to participate in exercises that are designed to improve the overall strength of the muscles located in the hand and in the wrist area. As the strength of the muscles in this area improves, the functionality of the muscles will also improve.
  • Your physical therapist will encourage you to do carpal tunnel exercises that stretch out the muscles. This aids in optimizing the overall mobility associated with the area, which in turn improves function.
  • All surgeries result in some degree of skin scarring. Once you complete the carpal tunnel surgery, you will quickly discover that the skin develops a mark. Carpal tunnel physical therapy includes scar management. This aids in ensuring that the skin remains flexible and is considered to be supple.
  • You will be provided with information regarding how to properly position the wrist and the right posture. This will help in reducing compression and issues, such as shoulder pain.

Types Of Painful Feelings

As describe above, theplacewhere carpal tunnel pain hurts the most is easy to define. But describing the actualtypeof pain patients feel is more difficult.

The types of pain reported have a wide range. They can be anywhere fromannoying or bothersometocrushing or punishing. The specificqualitiesof pain sensations usually described are:

  • shooting

Note that you can have only one or all of these pain sensations at the same time. Usually having more than one type of pain sensation is relative to the stage of carpal tunnel syndrome.More advanced stages produce additional types of pain sensations.

Numbness And Tingling It May Not Be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Although carpal tunnel syndrome is common, it is not the only cause of numbness, tingling, and pain in the forearm and hand. Most of the lay public and some of the medical community are not aware of other causes, so numbness, tingling and pain may be mistakenly thought to be coming from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These symptoms can be caused by many other conditions.

Local pressure on a nerve causes numbness in distinct patterns that follow the area supplied by that nerve . Also, the muscles that are controlled by the compressed nerve may exhibit weakness, wasting, or twitching. The pressure may come from injury, thickened muscles, bands of connective tissue, enlarged blood vessels, ganglion cysts, or arthritic spurs. Ulnar nerve compression at the wrist causes numbness and tingling of the little finger, part of the ring finger, and the little finger side of the palm. Ulnar nerve compression at the elbow causes not only the numbness noted above, but also numbness on the back of the ulnar side of the hand. Pressure on the radial nerve in the forearm or above the wrist can cause numbness over the back of the thumb, the index finger, and the web between these two digits. If the median nerve is compressed at or just below the elbow, numbness is felt not only in the same area as in CTS but also over the palm at the base of the thumb. Compression neuropathies may require surgery to release pressure on the nerve to get relief.

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Basics Of Bursitis And Tendinitis

Bursitis and tendinitis are conditions that are also known as soft tissue rheumatic syndromes. A syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and indicate a particular problem. This type of syndrome produces pain, swelling, or inflammation in the tissues and structures around a joint, such as the tendons, ligaments, bursae, and muscles.

Because the structures affected by soft tissue rheumatic syndromes are near joints, pain in these areas may be mistaken for arthritis. The difference between arthritis and bursitis and tendinits is the source of the inflamation. ;Arthritis is inflammation in the joint itself, whereas bursitis, tendinitis and other soft tissue rheumatic syndromes involve inflammation in the tissues and structures around a joint.

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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What Is The Outlook After Treatment For Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Most patients recover completely with medical treatment if they follow instructions carefully and avoid future injury to the nerve. Surgery improves symptoms for patients who did not respond to medical treatment, but some patients continue to have mild pain after surgery.

Preventing re-injury to the radial nerve is the most important goal after recovery.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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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    What Is Radial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial tunnel syndrome is a set of symptoms that include fatigue or a dull, aching pain at the top of the forearm with use. Although less common, symptoms can also occur at the back of the hand or wrist.

    The symptoms are caused by pressure on the radial nerve, usually at the elbow. The radial nerve is one of the three main nerves in the arm. It runs from the neck to the back of the upper arm. Next, it crosses the outside of the elbow and goes down to the forearm and hand. At the elbow, the radial nerve enters a narrow tunnel formed by muscles, tendon, and bone. This is called the radial tunnel.

    Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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

    There are several tests your doctor will perform to see if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. The Tinel test involves tapping on the median nerve to see if it causes tingling in the fingers. In the Phalen test, the doctor will have you press the backs of your hands together for a minute to see if this causes numbness or tingling.

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    What Does Carpal Tunnel Feel Like In Your Arm

    Carpal tunnel syndrome mostly affects the hand and wrist. However, pain, aches, and other sensations can travel up your arm toward your shoulder. Some people develop burning, shooting pains in the elbow, but they are not as common.

    Pain and other unpleasant sensations in the hand, wrist, and arm are the main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Other signs that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome are:

    • a strong desire to shake out your wrist for relief
    • noticeable hand weakness and clumsiness
    • difficulty grasping small objects
    • trouble with fine movements like buttoning your shirt or tying your shoelaces
    • trouble with tasks like using a phone or keyboard, or driving
    • difficulty distinguishing the difference between hot and cold by touch
    • lack of awareness of where your hand is in space
    • loss of muscle tissue

    People with carpal tunnel syndrome often have poor sleep quality because symptoms may be worse at night.

    Other conditions, including different types of nerve compression, can look like carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of these are:

    Consider making an appointment to see a primary care physician if you have numbness, weakness, or pain of the hand, wrist, or arm that interferes with normal activities or keeps you awake at night.

    Early diagnosis and treatment can slow or stop conditions from worsening. A doctor can recommend exercises and home remedies to care for your condition. A doctor can also help you treat it before you develop permanent nerve or muscle damage.

    Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Upper Arm Pain

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    Acute Vs Chronic Finger Numbness

    Another key factor for diagnosing the underlying problem of finger numbness is the duration of the numbness. Acute or sudden on and off numbness may be due to a transient injury. Again, leaning on your funny bone is a good example.

    Another example of temporary finger numbness may be when it occurs while working. Typing on a keyboard or swinging a hammer may cause finger numbness. But if it disappears with rest, then its a transient problem directly related toyour occupation.It means the work itself is causing the nerve injury because of how you use your hand.

    Chronic finger numbness can be more serious. It means the nerve is sufficiently damaged that simple rest wont help. It could also be a sign that a more serious condition is lurking which causes finger numbness.

    What If These Treatments Dont Help

    How to Fix Wrist Pain (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ...

    In some cases, surgery is needed to make the symptoms go away completely. The surgery involves cutting the;ligament;that may be pressing on your median nerve. Youll usually get back the normal use of your wrist and hand within a few weeks to a few months after surgery.

    Doing the hand, wrist, and finger exercises that your doctor tells you to do after surgery is very important. Without exercise, your wrist may get stiff, and you may lose some use of your hand.

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    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Explained

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a direct result of pressure on the nerve that is located at the base of the palm of the hand.; This is medically termed as the median nerve.

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow region located in the wrist, on the side of the palm. It is an area that aids in the protection of the tendons that are responsible for bending the fingers, as well as the median nerve.

    If pressure builds in this area, it can result in the development of weakness and pain in the wrist and the hand. It may also result in a numb or a tingling sensation in one or more fingers.

    The overall functionality of the arm may be detrimentally impacted. Additionally, many individuals experience extreme bouts of shoulder pain with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    How Is Radial Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed

    Pain in the forearm and hand are usually the symptoms that send a person to the doctor. However, there are no tests to prove a person has radial tunnel syndrome. This makes the diagnosis difficult. The doctor must depend on the patients physical exam and the type and location of the pain. As part of the exam, the patient is asked to turn his or her palm up with a straight elbow while the doctor restricts arm and hand movement. If the patient feels pain while trying to move the arm or hands against resistance; it is a sign of radial tunnel syndrome. In another test, the patient is asked to point with his or her middle finger against resistance. Pain with this movement is another sign of radial tunnel syndrome.

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    What Causes Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when themedian nerveinside your wrist joint is compressed and ultimately crushed. The compression happens because deep inside the wrist joint, tendons and other nearby tissuesthicken and inflame.;

    Nobody is certain why the inflammation happens in some people but not in others. Scientists believe it may have something to do with how you physically use your hands.Repetitive stress injury;is therefore one factor that’s investigated a great deal.

    Certain professions are infamous for having carpal tunnel syndrome. The most notable of these occupations includehairdressers,dental hygienists,guitar players,;fine artists,knitters,graphic designers,andtranscriptionists. Obviously, these andother professionalsuse their hands a lot and in different ways. But not everybody in these occupations gets this condition.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome also appears to have agenetic basis.If a close family member has carpal tunnel syndrome, then you’re likely to get it as well. Once again, nobody is certain why.

    Whatever brings on carpal tunnel syndrome, the result is the same. Tendons inside the wrist joint inflame, fill with fluid, and then swell. These swollen tendons contain so much fluid pressure that they push out against the adjacent median nerve.;

    The build-up of pressure compresses the nerve more and more each day. Eventually, the compression is so great that the median nerve is completely crushed.;

    Forearm Pain Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Get The Facts

    Arm Pain And Carpal Tunnel Pain Relief Treatment Burlington

    The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, like any nerve condition, are often confusing and difficult to diagnose for a doctor who does not encounter it frequently. For instance, It is not uncommon to feel symptoms of a pinched nerve in the forearm even though the nerve is being pinched in the Carpal Tunnel in the base of the hand.

    Tendons control the movement of the fingers, thumb and hand. These tendons often play a role in Carpal Tunnel.;; The tendons of the hand and forearm run from the finger tips through the Carpal Tunnel, parallel to the Median Nerve, and connect to the muscles of the forearm. These forearm muscles transfer grip strength to the hand and fingers via the tendons. The tendons slide up and down through the Carpal Tunnel as you use your hands, bend your fingers and grab things with your hand. Since the tendons run parallel to the Median Nerve through the Carpal Tunnel they often can affect one another.

    Sometimes doctors confuse Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with a diagnosis of Tendonitis; the truth is that Tendonitis is often part of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    Tendonitis means swelling or inflammation of the tendons.

    Since the Median Nerve and the Tendons of the hand run parallel and proximate to each other in the Carpal Tunnel, when the Nerve is pinched, the tendons are pinched at the same time. A swollen tendon can also pinch the Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel. Hence Tendonitis is a common contributing factor to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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    Treatment Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Your health care provider will figure out the best;treatment for you;based on:

    • Your age

    • Your overall health and medical history

    • How bad your wrist is right now

    • How well you tolerate specific medications, procedures, or therapies

    • How bad the disease is expected to get

    • Your opinion or preference

    Treatment may include:

    • Splinting your hand.;This;helps keep your;wrist from moving. It also eases the;compression of the nerves inside the tunnel.

    • Anti-inflammatory medication.;These may be oral or injected into the carpal tunnel space. These;reduce the swelling.

    • Surgery.;This eases compression on the nerves in the carpal tunnel.

    • Worksite changes.;Changing position of your computer keyboard or making other ergonomic changes can help ease symptoms.

    • Exercise.;Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have gotten better. These exercises may be supervised by a physical or occupational therapist.

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    What Happens Without Treatment

    At first, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome come and go, but as the condition worsens, symptoms may become constant. Pain may radiate up the arm all the way to the shoulder. Over time, if untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause the muscles on the thumb side of your hand to waste away . Even with treatment, strength and sensation may never be completely restored.

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    Carpal Tunnel And Tendonitis

    Years ago, it was thought in general by patients that carpal tunnel was caused by typing too much. Studies have shown that this is not true. What most are suffering from is tendonitis, and its getting worse from the tiny handheld computers that most of now have; as a result, the cases of wrist and thumb tendonitis are on the rise.

    We can understand the confusion that patients have self-diagnosing themselves with carpal tunnel syndrome since carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist and thumb tendonitis has such similar symptoms.

    What are the differences between carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis?

    Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cause Pain In The Armpit

    What causes pain on the left arm?

    June 19, 2010 by Kathryn Merrow

    Can your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cause pain in your armpit?; Here’s a switch; I mean really a switch.;

    Your wrist and hand symptoms can be caused by the muscles under your arm.; Under your armpit you have muscles that attach from ribs to arm and shoulder.; You have muscles in your chest that also attach to your arm.

    When these muscles get tight, they can traction down on the nerves that pass through your arm to your hand.; The nerves hate being pressed on and so they cause discomfort in your hand.

    Although short muscles don’t usually complain, the ones under your armpit can be

    uncomfortable when they are in a “knot” or spasm.

    The muscles on the side of your back, just behind your armpit, can also be involved .; Those muscles can also have pain when they are in spasm or contraction.

    So, you see, this is NOT a case of which comes firstthe chicken or the egg.;

    Even if you were not aware of the armpit pain before your hand pain started, the spasm was most likely already there.; It is just becoming tighter with time.

    It is very likely that our carpal tunnel pain is a result of that tightness in the muscles under your armpit.

    The good news is that you can press into those armpit muscles by yourself.; It will be uncomfortable because they are tight.; Just keep pressing and feeling and assessing the tightness in those muscles.; By pressing into those muscles with your fingers, it mechanically relaxes them.

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