If you are experiencing pain, tingling, or numbness in your hand and arm, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
In this blog post, I will discuss the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and the treatment options that are available.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome, and what are the symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs from your shoulder to your hand, and carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on this nerve. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include pain, tingling, or numbness in your hand and arm. You may also experience difficulty gripping.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome
There are several things that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the most common causes include repetitive motions, such as typing or using a mouse, pregnancy, obesity, and diabetes.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed
For patients that see me for symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome, I conduct a physical exam and ask about their medical history. Additional tests might be ordered to help diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. These tests may include a nerve conduction study.
What are the treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome
There are several treatment options available for carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Resting your hand and arm
- Ice packs
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
- Wearing a brace or night splint
If the above treatments do not relieve your symptoms, you may need to have carpal tunnel surgery. This surgery involves cutting the ligament that is putting pressure on the median nerve. The surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure and takes less than 30 minutes.
Prevention tips for avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome
There are several things you can do to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the prevention tips include:
- Taking breaks during repetitive activities.
- Stretching your hands and wrists.
- Exercising your hands and wrists.
When should you see a doctor for carpal tunnel
If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to see a doctor. The sooner carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. If left untreated, carpal tunnel can lead to permanent nerve damage.