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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Updated on December 27, 2017

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Well, hopefully you haven't ever had this, but if you have, you know what I'm talking about and the pain you have with carpal tunnel syndrome. If you haven't had the pleasure, then you can read this and find ways to avoid it.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when the median nerve in your wrist gets pressed or squeezed. The median nerve runs down your forearm into your wrist. So when it gets trapped, it is very painful. You will start to have tingling and other symptoms which you can read below.

Carpal Tunnel Is Extremely Painful

Carpal tunnel is extremely painful and it does make it hard to use your hands and arms without wearing out. Your forearm even hurts underneath (your ulnar nerve). One thing to remember please, if someone tells you they have carpal tunnel, don't just shrug your shoulders and say "hmm" and go on. I was like that to people when they said they had it. It was no big deal if they had carpal tunnel. Let me tell you something different. It is and it's a change of the way you have to do things also. If you are digging in your purse and getting the change out is a killer, and using pressure on your hands or fingers for anything, it's just a killer. I'm just telling you because I responded lightly to the issue when someone said they had CTS and now I understand why they complained.

Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

Please pay close attention to the signs you may have. If you catch carpal tunnel early, you have a much better chance of the surgery working if you have to have it; or at least help prevent it from getting worse.

At first, you will start getting a tingling feeling in the palm of your hand and especially your fingers. Your thumb, index and middle finger may also hurt. If you wake up in the middle of the night shaking your hand because it feel like it fell asleep and is numb, that's a sign too. Your wrist will hurt and your hands may feel and/or be weak. It is painful, not just hurt.

There is a "carpal tunnel" test you can do on yourself to see if you think you may have Carpal Tunnel. Do this trick:

Reach your hand out (like you are just being handed a check or something with your palm facing up. Now, let your wrist drop and relax. Take your other hand or have someone do it, and tap the middle of wrist (still facing up of course and relaxed). If it feels like someone just stuck your wrist in a light socket or tingled, that's a sign you might want to get it checked out. Mine was advanced, so I had 3 carpal tunnel releases. The first two didn't work because it was so advanced and so they tried it again on one hand.

How Do They Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The treatment for carpal tunnel if advanced, is usually carpal tunnel release. You can try to have a cortisone shot directly into your wrist; it is painful, I won't lie. If it works for you, great. If it doesn't get the job done, then Carpal Tunnel Release is the next step. The orthopedic surgeon will order an EMG first to see where the damage is. They can tell if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from this or just arthritis. The EMG is a little painful, but nothing major. It shocks you all up and down your arm to measure your nerves responses.

What If I Choose Not to Have Treatment or Surgery?

If you choose not to have any treatment or surgery for your carpal tunnel, or you had treatment and it didn't work, the answer to this is: you have to live with it. It isnt a pleasant feeling, it really does get frustratin. I can't do much of anything using my hands without having to stop, especially if it involves digging in my purse, that is a killer. The pressure and twisting of my hands and arms is rough. You won't have much strength in your hands either. The other problem I have, is I continually drop things! I don't have much feeling in my fingers so I can't tell if I have a grip on something I grab or not. It sounds a little petty complaining of your hands and fingers are hurting, but it really and truly is an inconvenience.

Basically to sum it up for you, if you think you may have carpal tunnel, contact your orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible; you don't want to wait. Carpal tunnel, if not treated, can sometimes lead to cubital tunnel, which is a whole different ball game. Then you can have both the surgeries.

Easing Some Pain With Carpal Tunnel

Wearing a wrist brace can help a little bit with controlling your wrist and does ease some of the pain associated with carpal tunnel. If you type for a living, Please understand that it is difficult to type with such a large brace on but you can get used to it. It really depends on you. I do suggest maybe wearing the glove.

Carpal Tunnel Question- Take The Poll

If you had carpal tunnel release, did it work for you?

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Carpal Tunnel Video Information


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    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      Thank you- I hope it helps someone else. Carpal tunnel is not a joking matter. I guess that's what I get when I used to roll my eyes when someone said they had carpal tunnel and they couldn't do certain things. Now, I bad!

    • robertdking profile image

      robertdking 5 years ago

      very well written ... pleasure to read. thanks

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      you said it in your little paragraph there. I totally agree. My husband had the carpal and cubital done. Still hurts and is pain all the time. I tell him to just deal with it and it won't get any better. He doesn't seem to like that answer :)

    • profile image

      KC 5 years ago

      I had the orthoscopic surgery performed in Sept of 2011. In my opinion it was a total waste of time and resources. Now they say I have arthritis so why didn't they tell me this before the surgery? - $$$$$ They get you between a rock and a hard place - if you don't have surgery you will get worse - If you do have surgery it is very often ineffectual.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      Good luck brakfastpop and I hope it works for you. The scar in the picture was what mine looked like as well. I agree, if you have the symptoms, don't wait. As I said in the story, is isn't to be taken lightly as it is very painful and ever since I've had it, I have more compassion that say they have CTS.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I just had the surgery and it was done endoscopically. The scar you show looks ghastly. I have two spots, one on my palm and the other on my wrist. If you have these symptoms, check it out and don't wait too long or you may never regain the feeling in your fingers. I may be facing that and it isn't fun.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      You are more than welcome. There is so much more information that I can add, but I would have to make my own hubpages site to add it all.

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 5 years ago from Canada

      very informative and well written, thanks for posting.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      glad to hear your sister is doing well with it. My husband had carpal and cubital tunnel surgeries. Has constant problems every day as well. It really is difficult. However; that's what I get for taking it lightly when someone would say they had carpal tunnel. I was like, "so".. my bad

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      Great tips! Thanks for reading and commenting. Anything that can help someone else is a plus.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      My sister had surgery for this about ten years ago and today she is much better. It came from years of working with her hands at a machine. Your article is a great aid to those who want to know if this should be a concern. The test you listed is a great way to check for carpal tunnel syndrome. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I am getting it. I have the tingling in those fingers and it sometimes wakes me up at night. It helps to be sure your arms are straight in front of you as you type on the keyboard. A wrist support also helps, placed before the keyboard so your wrist lies on it as you type. Make sure your elbows are never below the keyboard, that will give issues with your arms. I see a chiropractor and he helps a little. Otherwise you have to live with it.