Is Your Wrist Pain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Pain in the wrists is a common complaint associated with carpal tunnel syndrome but is not its only symptom. You may be experiencing numbness or tingling in the palm of your hand as well as the thumb, index and middle fingers of your hand. At first the pain and numbness may get worse at night and may be alleviated by shaking your hands. Another very common complaint is a weakening of the fingers and wrist as well difficulty with fine control of the fingers. Some of these symptoms are also signs of other diseases If you think you may be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome the first thing to do is get an expert diagnosis by an orthopedic surgeon.
Pressure –Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’s Real Culprit
To understand what caused the carpal tunnel it is important to first know what is occurring in the wrist to make the symptoms manifest. When the major nerve of the wrist, called the median nerve, is placed under pressure, it can cause the pain and other symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Potential Causes Of The Pressure
The pressure on the median nerve can be caused by a number of different things. Many patients assume the pain in their wrist is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome simply because they work at a computer. While this is true in some cases, it is actually the repetitive motion involved in typing that is the culprit. Anyone that performs a job or hobby that involves making the same motion repeatedly can be affected. For example electricians twisting small wires and turning screw drivers, a chef mixing ingredients, or a mom who cuts coupons or pictures for scrap booking can all see the signs of carpal tunnel. While repetitive motion is a major cause of carpal tunnel there are other risk factors and potential causes for pressure to be placed on the median nerve, including:
- A wrist fracture or dislocation
- Inflammation from injury
- A chronic inflammatory condition, like arthritis
- Smoking which causes a reduction in blood flow
- Retention of fluids due to pregnancy, menopause, and PMS
- Obesity placing excessive pressure on the joints
- Infections in the wrist or elsewhere in the body
- And many others
The Treatment Options For Carpal Tunnel
Once you visit an orthopedic physician, like the experts at IBJI, they will be able to not only diagnose the carpal tunnel but any other underlying causes. Their diagnosis will guide the treatment of your pain. Some of the treatments can be as simple as changing how you work and the tools you use to perform your job. In some cases medications can be used. The medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and corticosteroid injections. In sever cases surgery may be needed.
It is important not to attempt to treat carpal tunnel at home without first seeing an orthopedic doctor. At home treatments may cause short-term relief but do not prevent further damage. Which is even harder to treat down the road. The pain may also be caused by a something other than carpal tunnel, so the at home treatment may not be effective at all. The only way to get the correct diagnosis and treatment for you wrist pain is to visit a doctor. The physicians at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute are the best choice for treating any orthopedic condition, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Make an appointment today with one of the orthopedic physicians at IBJI to start making your job or hobby less affected by the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.