Carpal Tunnel Syndrome2019-12-19T12:12:10-05:00

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnel syndrome Blacksburg, VA

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling and often pain in the hand or lower arm. It is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. The median nerve runs through a narrow passageway or tunnel located on the palm side of your wrist. The median nerve supplies feeling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and ½ of the ring finger. When this nerve becomes compressed due to anatomical issues, over or improper use of wrists or underlying health conditions, it produces a numbness or tingling sensation. If left untreated, the result can be hand weakness. The proper treatment can relieve the numbness and tingling restoring function to the wrist and hand.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually commence gradually over time. Often symptoms present with numbness or tingling in fingers and thumb, as well as a general discomfort in your wrist and hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can produce numbness and/or tingling in all fingers except the little finger. This differentiation is critical in guiding your physician’s diagnosis. The sensations may extend up from your wrist into your upper arm.

Weakness is a more progressive symptom that begins to interfere with your daily activities. The compression of the median nerve begins to affect the strength in the muscle. You may start to drop objects that you are holding more frequently. If weakness related to carpal tunnel syndrome is left untreated, permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur. A nerve conduction study may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and gauge the severity of the disease.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be managed at home with much success. Moderating activities with your hands and taking more frequent breaks may be very helpful in reducing the pain. Other treatment options to incorporate are:

  • Regular icing of your wrists for 10 to 15 minutes every hour.
  • Taking NSAIDs to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Wearing a wrist splint to stabilize your wrist at night will take pressure off of the median nerve.
  • Cortisone injection.

The more swiftly you begin these modifications and treatment alternatives the less likely you are to develop long-term damage to the median nerve. Surgery is usually a last resort for carpal tunnel syndrome. It is generally reserved for patients that are in severe pain and are unable to work or do other activities. Some tips to avoid carpal tunnel or to keep you condition under control are:

  • Keeping the wrist in a neutral position while typing
  • Switching hands often for repeated movements
  • Using the hand to hold objects instead of fingers

Severe carpal tunnel or cases that do not improve with conservative care can be treated with surgical release successfully.

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