Final Thoughts On Warning Signs Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can be debilitating if not treated.
It is often caused by repetitive activities that put pressure on the wrists, such as typing or using a handheld device.
If you are experiencing any of the warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to see a doctor right away for treatment.
There are many ways to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, and most cases can be resolved with conservative measures such as rest, ice packs, wrist splints, and NSAIDs.
If these measures do not help, then more aggressive treatments such as surgery may be necessary.
There are also a few things you can do to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from developing in the first place.
Remember to take breaks often, use ergonomic equipment, and stretch your hands, wrists, and arms regularly.
Featol Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace
- Price: $$
- Features: This brace is available in multiple sizes. It contains a removable metal splint for easy washing, and also includes a removable gel ice pack. If youre tired of all the all-black choices, this light gray model might appeal to you.
- Customer reviews: Amazon customers rated it a 4.6 out of 5 stars, commenting on its comfort and durability, as well as the included ice pack.
Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Resolve On Its Own
The bones and ligaments in your hand and wrist form a passageway called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve also passes through this structure, providing sensory and motor support for your hand.
Space is limited through the carpal tunnel, and when things go wrong, the median nerve can be compressed or irritated. When this becomes chronic, carpal tunnel syndrome results. Often a repetitive strain injury, CTS can affect anyone from athletes to office workers.
The hand and wrist specialists at Bahri Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic can help you with the diagnosis and treatment of CTS. Chances are that your case of CTS wont heal without changes or treatment. Seek quality orthopedic care rather than waiting and hoping for the best.
Recommended Reading: If You Cut Your Wrist Will You Die
Avoiding Repetitive Strain In Tasks
At any task or job, pay attention to how you are using your hands, especially when you are performing the same action repetitively. Avoid tasks that require bending or twisting motions with your hand for extended periods of time.
If you must perform these movements, gradually increase your time spent doing them and take frequent breaks. If possible, switch hands during your tasks.
The on-the-job risk for carpal tunnel syndrome is seen mostly in assembly line occupations in manufacturing, cleaning, and food processing.
In addition to redesigning these tasks to reduce strain, it would be helpful if your employer rotated jobs requiring these actions so you dont spend long hours doing the same movement.
Living With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You may decide against having surgery for your carpal tunnel syndrome. If so, here are some things that may help relieve your symptoms.
- Prop up your arm with pillows when you lie down.
- Avoid overusing the affected hand.
- Find a new way to use your hand by using a different tool.
- Try to use the unaffected hand more often.
- Avoid holding your wrists in a downward bent position for long periods of time.
You May Like: People Cutting Their Wrists
Common Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Include:
- Numbness, burning, tingling, or pain in your fingers. Primarily this pain will occur in the thumb and index finger, as well as the middle and ring fingers.
- Pain or tingling in your forearm leading towards your shoulder.
- An occasional shocking sensation from the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
- Difficulty to perform normal tasks such as buttoning your clothes or holding your spoon.
- Dropping objects, either due to weakness or numbness.
Dont Miss: Does Lidocaine Work For Nerve Pain
Modifying Your Hand/wrist Activities
Pressure on the nerve within the carpal tunnel is increased with forceful gripping tasks. It would make sense to take rest breaks and do stretches when you need to use the hands for heavy gripping. For example, when I am in heavy traffic and white knuckle gripping the steering wheel, my hands will go numb. A lighter grip on the wheel will help this calm down. Using vibrating power tools in the yard, such as a hedge trimmer or edger, can also flare up CTS symptoms. Gardening has also been shown in studies to contribute to CTS symptoms. Motorcycle riders often get CTS symptoms because they are forcibly gripping the handlebars and getting hand vibration from the ride. Common sense tells us to be careful with these activities and adjust how the hand is used when possible.
Don’t Miss: Vertical Wrist Cutting
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated in two ways: non-surgically or with surgery. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Typically, non-surgical treatments are used for less severe cases and allow you to continue with daily activities without interruption. Surgical treatments can help in more severe cases and have very positive outcomes.
Non-surgical treatments are usually tried first. Treatment begins by:
- Wearing a wrist splint at night.
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
Other treatments focus on ways to change your environment to decrease symptoms. This is often seen in the workplace, where you can make modifications to help with carpal tunnel. These changes might include:
- Raising or lowering your chair.
- Moving your computer keyboard.
- Changing your hand/wrist position while doing activities.
- Using recommended splints, exercises and heat treatments from a hand therapist.
Surgery is recommended when carpal tunnel syndrome does not respond to non-surgical treatments or has already become severe. The goal of surgery is to increase the size of the tunnel in order to decrease the pressure on the nerves and tendons that pass through the space. This is done by cutting the ligament that covers the carpal tunnel at the base of the palm. This ligament is called the transverse carpal ligament.
If you have surgery, you can expect to:
Carpal Tunnel Prevention & Workplace Changes
If youre exploring carpal tunnel prevention techniques, look no further than adjusting your everyday workplace. According to theNational Institutes of Health, if you make certain, small changes then you can avoid ever having hand pain.
More importantly, the proper ergonomic changes can avoid getting the dreadedcarpal tunnel syndrome.Also called carpal tunnel, its the most common type of hand injury in the USA. Ironically, its also one of the easiest hand disorders to treat in themild stages. But its one of the hardest to treat in the moderate orseverestages.
You might also like:
More and more of uswork from homedue to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means we tend to pay less attention to our posture while in our new workspace. The problem with that is, having poor sitting posture is like inviting carpal tunnel syndrome to visit.
Therefore, if you type a lot or sit in an office chair most of the day, do yourself a favor.Make some changes now to prevent carpal tunnel.And if you already feel signs of carpal tunnel, it will probably worsen without intervention. So be sure to take charge immediately in order to prevent suffering.
Read Also: Does Ginger Ale Help Stomach Pain
Recommended Reading: How To Cut Your Wrist Without Dying
What Are The Causes
There is no one issue that causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Rather, its a combination of several factors. You may be at risk of developing it if:
- You use your hands repetitively in everyday work .
- If it runs in your familysome people have a smaller carpal tunnel than others.
- If youre pregnantswelling related to hormones can lead to the syndrome.
- You have diabetes.
- You have been diagnosed with a thyroid problem.
- You have rheumatoid arthritis.
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
So, what exactly is causing the pain? After all, isnt the hand and wrist designed to perform these repetitive actions over and over? The main culprit is something called the median nerve. When that becomes compressed, thats when the discomfort begins. The compression comes from an abundance of pressure on the nerve.
If you are experiencing any such pain or discomfort such as what has been described, you will need to administer some form of treatment in a reasonable amount of time. Allowing the condition to persist in the hopes that it will correct itself is not a good idea. In fact, the chances of it getting worse a lot worse are much more likely and that will result in more persistent and intense discomfort and pain.
The good news is that you have some options at your disposal for treating the issue before it gets too bad. In the worst CTS cases, invasive surgery is often required to correct the problem. But your situation may not warrant such a solution.
Don’t Miss: Neck Pain Causes Nausea
How Often Is Hand Pain Caused By Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition, it has a different set of symptoms from many other sources of hand pain. There are actually several similar conditions that cause hand pain. These include:
- De Quervains tendinosis: A condition where swelling affects the wrist and base of the thumb. In this condition, you will feel pain when you make a fist and simulate shaking someones hand.
- Trigger finger: This condition causes soreness at the base of the finger or thumb. Trigger finger also causes pain, locking and stiffness when bending the fingers and thumb.
- Arthritis: This is a general term for many conditions that cause stiffness and swelling in your joints. Arthritis can impact many joints in your body and ranges from causing small amounts of discomfort to breaking down the joint over time .
Reduce Or Quit Tobacco Use
Nicotine is an addictive chemical in tobacco products. It also constricts arteries and reduces blood flow in the body. If the blood flow in the hand is reduced, the nerves can be more sensitive to injury. Stopping tobacco use may reduce the risk of CTS symptoms and is good for your overall health. Consider talking to your primary care physician about quitting.
Recommended Reading: Shoulder Pain After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
Why You Should Never Delay Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It all starts with a tingling in your hands, perhaps some numbness, and before you know it, your entire arm is in agony or your hand doesnt function properly. This progression is not uncommon when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, which is why seeking help sooner rather than later is so important.
At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter Fitzgibbons specializes in treating this debilitating wrist problem in his patients in Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland. And before you let his title scare you, surgery is not the de facto treatment for this condition — especially if you get his help early on.
Heres a look at carpal tunnel syndrome and what measures we can take to give you full function and feeling in your hand again.
Difficulty Moving The Fingers
In addition to weakness, carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause difficulty moving the fingers.
This is due to the fact that the median nerve controls the movement of the thumb and the first three fingers.
People with this condition may find it difficult to make a fist or to pinch their fingers together.
This can make everyday activities such as picking up a pencil or opening a door difficult to do.
Recommended Reading: Cutting Your Wrist To Die
What Are The Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture an overactive pituitary gland an underactive thyroid gland and rheumatoid arthritis. Other factors that may contribute to the compression include mechanical problems in the wrist joint, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause, or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. Often, no single cause can be identified.
What Happens If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Not Treated
Median nerve compression needs to be treated. If left untreated, the condition worsens significantly and permanent nerve damage may result. This leads to chronic pain and impaired movement and functionality in the hand muscles.
In severe cases when treatment hasnt been carried out, surgery may be needed to relieve the nerve compression.
Don’t Miss: Can Stomach Fat Cause Back Pain
Personal Stories About Surgery For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
One of the most annoying things about my carpal tunnel syndrome is the night pain in my hands. If I don’t wear the splints, it wakes me up almost every night. But with the splints, I can get a good night’s sleep, and my doctor says that my thumb and hand strength are not too bad. I’m nervous about any kind of surgery, so when my doctor said it would be okay to wait awhile, I said, “Great.” If the splints stop working, though, I’ll probably be back in my doctor’s office!
Dave, age 55
I own a landscaping business, and a few months ago I started having a lot of pain when putting in backyard fences. Then the pain started to wake me up at night and keep me awake. My doctor said I had a classic case of carpal tunnel syndrome. I tried some of the home treatments that she recommended, and the problem didn’t get any worse, but it didn’t get any better, either. So I went back and asked about surgery. It sounds like the surgery has a good chance of taking care of the problem, so I’m going to give it a try. When you own your own company, it’s too expensive to keep missing work. But I’ll have to wait till the slow season, because I’ll have to take a few weeks’ break to recover.
Javier, age 46
Catherine, age 40
Danitra, age 36
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is a frustrating and often painful condition that affects the wrists, hands, and fingers and is technically caused by heightened pressure on the median nerve, which runs through a channel called the carpal tunnel. When this channel narrows or becomes constricted, the median nerve is often pinched or damaged, resulting in a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Common carpal tunnel symptoms include numbness, tingling, or pain in the wrist, thumb, and first three fingers. These symptoms typically develop gradually over time and are often worse at night.
Also Check: Which Way Do You Cut Your Wrists To Die
Five Ways To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you or someone you know has suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, you understand just how debilitating it can be. Constant pain and the inability to perform even the simplest of tasks are just a few of the frustrating symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented or even corrected with behavioral modifications alone. However, for some people with severe or prolonged carpal tunnel syndrome, professional intervention may be needed.
The knowledgeable and experienced team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, led by Dr. Christopher Williams, is dedicated to helping patients identify the underlying cause of their condition and providing advice and/or treatment for quick, long-lasting symptom relief. In addition, Dr. Williams stresses the point of future prevention, helping patients avoid subsequent bouts of carpal tunnel syndrome. To better understand how carpal tunnel can be treated and prevented, it is important to first establish some basic facts about the condition and what may cause it.
Also Check: Heating Pad For Sciatica
Examination Of The Wrist
Your doctor or health professional will ask you to describe your symptoms. They will take a look at your hand and wrist to assess how bad the condition is. If the wrist is swollen due to arthritis or tendon swelling, this could be the cause of your symptoms.
If youve had the condition for some time, there may be signs of muscle wasting at the base of the thumb. If the problem is severe, your thumb, index and middle fingers may be insensitive or numb to either a gentle touch or a pin prick.
Your doctor may tap over the median nerve on the palm side of your wrist, this is known as Tinels test. Or they may ask you to bend your palm towards your forearm for up to a minute, which is known as Phalens test.
These tests can help to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, but they arent reliable, so you may also have one of the tests described below.
Recommended Reading: Can You Die From Slitting Wrist
How Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult to prevent. The condition can be caused by so many different activities in a persons daily life that prevention can be challenging. Workstation changesproper seating, hand and wrist placementcan help decrease some factors that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Other preventative methods include:
- Sleeping with your wrists held straight.
- Keeping your wrists straight when using tools.
- Avoiding flexing and extending your wrists repeatedly.
- Taking frequent rest breaks from repetitive activities.
- Performing conditioning and stretching exercises before and after activities.
- Monitoring and properly treating medical conditions linked to carpal tunnel syndrome.