We all know that our wrists are essential when using our hands. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do many things we take for granted daily.
That’s why carpal tunnel syndrome is such a big deal–it affects millions of people every year, but most don’t even know what it is until they experience symptoms themselves.
It’s important to remember that this is an extremely common condition; most people will experience it at some point in their lives. Left untreated, it may lead to further complications such as tingling or permanent nerve damage.
But why does this occur? What are the symptoms? And what can you do to treat it? Here’s everything you need to know about carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The median nerve is the primary nerve affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. This nerve runs through an opening in your wrist called the carpal tunnel, which is surrounded by ligaments and bones. When these structures become inflamed or swollen, they can put pressure on your median nerve, causing pain and numbness in your hand and tingling sensations.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by several factors, including:
- Repetitive hand motions, such as typing or working with tools
- Diabetes, which can cause nerve damage
- A high BMI (body mass index)
- Repetitive stress injuries or trauma, such as a wrist fracture or dislocation
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding can affect your body’s fluid balance and cause swelling
The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a complex condition often characterized by the following symptoms:
- Numbness in your thumb, index finger, and middle finger on one side of your body
- Pain occurs when you use your hand or wrist to type or work with tools
- Weakness in your fingers and hand may make it difficult to perform daily tasks
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
To diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, you must first rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest that you have an evaluation by a hand and wrist specialist. During the exam, the doctor will test the strength of your muscles and tendons that move your fingers.
What Are the Consequences of Ignoring Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of feeling in your hand. Even if you start treatment early, there is a chance that some damage may be irreversible.
What Are the Possible Treatments?
The first line of treatment is a conservative approach that may include wrist splints, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. If these treatments are not effective, then surgery may be an option. Surgery involves cutting the ligament compressing the nerve, or moving it out of its tunnel to relieve pressure on it.
Millions of people are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome every year. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s essential to get tested by your doctor right away. The sooner you catch it, the easier it will be to treat and manage.
Numbness in your hand and wrist that never goes away? It could be a sign of a severe condition. You can get diagnosed and treated for carpal tunnel syndrome at North Florida Hand and Wrist. Your doctor will recommend a carpal tunnel syndrome treatment that best fits your needs.