How Do I Know If I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

This condition is characterized by numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hand. Also known as median nerve compression, the condition occurs due to the median nerve experiencing a lot of pressure. 

The nerve runs along the entire arm, past the wrist all the way to the hand. It is responsible for the movement and feeling of the fingers including the thumb, apart from the pinky.


 

Causes


In most cases, people cannot point to the root cause of their condition. The syndrome is often the result of repetitive movements such as typing. Wrist movements that are done over and over can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. 


This is especially the case when the activities are performed while the hands are lower than the wrists. Other conditions that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome are obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy. 


 

Symptoms


There are several symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. They include tingling, burning, or itching numbness in the thumb and palm or the middle and index fingers. Other symptoms are weakness in the hand, difficulty holding things, and a shock-like sensation moving into the fingers. 


Some people experience tingling that moves along the arm and the fingers becoming numb or “falling asleep” at night. As the condition becomes worse, you may experience more muscle cramping and pain as well as reduced grip strength.


 

Risk Factors


Women have a higher risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome than men. This may be because they usually have smaller carpal tunnels. If someone in your family has the condition, it increases your risk of getting it. 


If your job requires you to make repeated motions using your wrist, hand, and arm, your risk increases. Some high-risk jobs include assembly line work, knitting or sewing, cashier, baking, musician, or hairstylist. Getting a dislocation or fracture can increase your risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.


 

How to Know If You Have the Condition


The condition affects the median nerve so that it does not work as it should. If you have noticed a reduced feeling in the fingers, you may have the condition. Other signs are slower nerve impulses and less coordination and strength. 


If you find it difficult to pinch using your thumb, it could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome. A doctor can carry out a diagnosis to determine if you have the condition. Several tests are used during diagnosis. Some tests include the Tinel sign test, imaging tests, electromyogram, and nerve condition studies.


 

Treating It


There are several treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, all based on the symptoms and severity of the condition. Treatments include exercises, immobilization, medication, and surgery. Making some lifestyle changes can alleviate the condition. 


Strengthening and stretching exercises can help the nerve move much better. Immobilization involves the use of a splint. If exercise and medication fail to work, surgery may be necessary. Carpal tunnel release surgery is used to increase the tunnel size, easing pressure on the nerve.


Failing to treat carpal tunnel syndrome can cause the symptoms to worsen, and it can cause muscle damage. If you have the condition, visit
your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.



For more on carpal tunnel syndrome, visit Ellis Chiropractic at our office in Marlow, Oklahoma. You can also call (580) 217-3300 today to schedule an appointment.

admin none 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM 3:00 PM TO 6:00 PM 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM 9:00 AM TO 12:00 PM Closed Closed chiropractor # # #