Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition where the nerves of the wrist are being compressed. The carpal tunnel is actually a very narrow passageway that runs along your wrist on the palm side. When compressed, it can cause tingling, numbness, and other symptoms in your arm and hand. There are many factors that can contribute to developing the condition. Luckily, there are also several things that can be done to help alleviate symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of this condition often start gradually. They will often come and go randomly in the beginning. Most people notice a tingling in their thumb, middle, and index finger in the early stages. The pinky finger is usually unaffected. When the tingling happens, it can feel like a mild electric shock. Sometimes, this sensation will run from your wrist all the way up your arm. It is more likely to happen when grasping something, such as a phone or a steering wheel.
Another common symptom is weakness in the affected hand and/or arm. This is the result of your hand becoming numb, which can cause you to drop things. The median nerve that is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome also impacts the strength of your thumb’s pinching ability.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are many things that can cause this condition to develop. Any injury that affects the median nerve in your carpal tunnel space can cause it. Rheumatoid arthritis is also considered a contributing factor.
As with many medical conditions, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. They include:
- Being overweight: Obesity is considered a major contributing factor for this disease.
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop this condition than men.
- Conditions that cause nerve damage: Diabetes and other chronic diseases can increase the odds of damage to any nerve.
- Other medical conditions: Menopause, kidney failure, and thyroid disorders have all been linked to an increased chance of problems with your carpal tunnel.
- Work factors: The evidence is still inconclusive when it comes to repetitive motions causing this condition.
Talk to Our Specialist
If you are interested in learning more about carpal tunnel syndrome and the available treatment options, schedule a consultation at Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates. During this meeting at our office in Plymouth, Sandwich or Duxbury, we can discuss your symptoms as well as the treatment options available to you. Contact us today to book your appointment.