Carpal Tunnel is more common than one may think. The symptoms may take a while to show up and can gradually become worse over time. Carpal Tunnel is most commonly, A numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Wrist anatomy, underlying health conditions, and patterns of hand use can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Key symptoms are pain in the hand and arm with numbness or tingling. More than 3 million cases are diagnosed per year of carpal tunnel in the United States. Carpal Tunnel can happen for several reasons, I will list a few of the most common causes below:
- thyroid dysfunction.
- fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause.
- high blood pressure.
- autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- fractures or trauma to the wrist.
When you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel, it is wise to seek treatment to prevent any further damage. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome could lead to weakness, lack of coordination, and permanent nerve damage. When carpal tunnel syndrome begins to make it hard for you to complete everyday task, make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Acting soon could mean avoiding nerve damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome may go away on its own with rigorous rest in certain circumstances if it is moderate and discovered early. Some people confuse carpel tunnel with arthritis, Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause weakness, tingling, or numbness in the hand. Arthritis can also cause pain and make it difficult to grasp things, but for completely different reasons. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by nerve compression and arthritis is caused by inflammation and damage to the joint. You can do a test at home to figure out if you potentially have carpal tunnel, you hold your arms out in front of you and then flex your wrists, letting your hands hang down for about 60 seconds. If you feel tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers within 60 seconds, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. You’ll usually feel it worst in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, but sometimes it might feel like your whole hand is affected. You may also have an ache running up your arm to the shoulder or neck. It can affect just one or both hands.
Your hand and wrist may feel worse than they used to feel. But the pain should start to go away. It usually takes 3 to 4 months to recover and up to 1 year before hand strength returns. How much strength returns will vary. You have a few options on how to treat carpal tunnel without corrective surgery and I will list some options below:
- Wear a wrist brace at night.
- Perform hand and wrist stretching exercises during the day.
- Increase physical activity and exercise.
- Consider weight loss if at an unhealthy weight.
- Modify hand activities.
- Learn healthy computer habits.
- Stop tobacco use.
Elite Carpal Tunnel Centers was founded by Dr. Travis A Peterson, a board-certified orthopedic hand surgeon who started practicing in 2011. If you are in the Draper, Utah area and are suffering from carpal tunnel contact us today. We look forward to helping you find comfort again.