Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Median Nerve Compression
Injuries and conditions involving your hands can not only be debilitating, but emotionally painful as well. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also known as Median Nerve Compression, is a condition that causes pain in the fingers, hands, or in the arm between your hand and elbow. If you are experiencing these symptoms, Advance Health and Wellness may be able help with targeted and individualized therapies, getting you ready to give rounds of applause at that next big concert or game.
Our hands have a median nerve that is responsible for giving sensation and movement to the thumb and first three fingers (but not the pinky finger). The nerve and associated tendons go through a tiny place in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel, hence the condition’s name. When compression to the median nerve is a result of swelling or anything else that makes the tunnel smaller, pain occurs.
Some indications that you may have Carpal Tunnel or Median Nerve Compression are:
- numbness, a burning pain, and/or tingling in your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger or all the way up into your forearm
- weakness in your hand and wrist
- difficulty gripping
- difficulty feeling when a small object is in your hand
These symptoms may originally be noticed at night, as they are often worse during this time, and can sometimes be “shaken off” at first.
There are many possible causes of swelling in the tunnel and constriction of the median nerve, but often times there is no identifiable cause in those experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Illnesses like hypothyroidism, diabetes, alcoholism, and rheumatoid arthritis can be factors, as can making the same hand or wrist movements over and over, especially when the fingers are at a lower position than your wrists, like with typing or sewing. A recent or old injury to the wrist such as a fracture can also be a trigger. Probably due to the overall swelling and increased pressure in the body, pregnancy has also been found to contribute to developing CTS.
While you may be able to find relief for your symptoms by taking anti-inflammatories, icing and resting your wrists, resting your fingers and hands, or wearing a wrist splint at night to stabilize them, it could greatly help your condition to seek therapies and treatments like those offered at Advance Health and Wellness. Especially if you experience more severe and frequent Carpal Tunnel pain, home remedies may not be as effective or long lasting for you, and relying on medications is never a good long term option if it can be avoided.
For extreme cases of CTS, cortisol injections and surgery can provide relief, but a visit to our practice could quite possibly save you that hassle, and cost.
It is important to note, if carpal tunnel syndrome continues for a long time, and remains untreated, permanent nerve injury is possible. This will cause numbness, weakness, and atrophy of muscles in the hand. Don’t let a completely treatable condition cause you to possibly lose valuable hand function.