- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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 Information
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Causes and Diagnosis by MedicineNet.com
Learn about carpal tunnel syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms (numbness in fingers, toes), causes (pregnancy, diabetes, repetitive motions), treatment, prevention and diagnosis.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome - PubMed Health
PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question What works? in medical and health care