We’ve all been there – where we type too much and get a cramp in our wrist or when we’re scrolling too long on our phones and feel an ache in our hand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have carpal tunnel syndrome. So, what exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome, what are the symptoms, and how do you treat it? We’ll walk you through it.

The Wrist

Our wrists, formally known as the carpus, are made up of five metacarpal bones of the hand and the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. The wrist has eight small carpal bones that are arranged in two rows. It also is composed of the distal radioulnar joint, the radiocapral joint, the mid carpal joint, and a couple of inter carpal joints which serve as component joints that help with movement. With all these components, the wrist is able to have the range of motion that it does.

Carpal Tunnel

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage at the bottom of the hand that is made up of ligament and bones. This passageway also contains the median nerve, which is responsible for the feeling in your thumb and all fingers except for the pinky finger.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is what happens when the median nerve that runs from the arm to the hand becomes compressed at the wrist. When this becomes irritated, it can cause swelling and further compression of the nerve.

Oftentimes, however, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of problems happening in the neck, shoulder, or elbow – not just the wrist. However, it’s important to note that these same symptoms occur in a variety of conditions, resulting in her 50% of misdiagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome cases.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When you start feeling numbness, tingling, or pain in your wrists and hands, it could signal you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Overall, the symptoms include:

  • Tingling in the hand or fingers
  • Numbness
  • Frequent burning sensation in the hand or fingers

Causes

There are many conditions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Healthline lists some of these conditions to be:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Fluid retention as the result of pregnancy or menopause
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Wrist injuries

Other factors that increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include working jobs that overextend the wrist frequently, like working at a computer all day, using tools, and even things like playing the piano.

Some individuals are also more at risk for developing this syndrome. BetterHealth lists those at higher risk to be women over the age of 40, pregnant women, people with arthritis, those who are overweight, or those who do the jobs and tasks like mentioned above.

Treatments

Fortunately, there are other options for your wrist pain other than surgery. Here at Spine Correction Center, we will begin your treatment by evaluating all areas of your nerves that may be pinched. This means not only treating you for your hand, but looking at your neck, shoulders, and elbows too. Treatments that don’t involve surgery are physiotherapy, injections, splints, and rest. We will help find the best option for you and treat you individually based on your needs.

Surgery is also a treatment option as a last resort. The surgeon will make an incision indoor palm and expose the ligament. Once opened up, the surgeon will cut the ligament to relieve pressure from the nerve. We hope to work with you and treat your carpal tunnel problems before they result in having to have a surgical procedure.

Schedule an Appointment

We work with patients every day to help them reduce their pain. If you find that you have wrist pain making it difficult to do your job or live your life, come see us. Call Spine Correction Center today for a FREE consultation at (970)-658-5115.