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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a medical condition caused due to the compression of the median nerve that travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. It is caused due to pressure on the median nerve, which runs across the entire arm and into a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve provides motor and sensory innervation to the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results in pain, tingling, and numbness in the lateral part of the hand. A patient suffering from this syndrome will usually feel pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be disabling and irritating Patients typically experience sensations of burning, itching, and numbness, in hand. These feelings are similar to what happens when one’s arm or leg falls asleep also called “Charlie Horses.” Patients may experience weakness in the hand and difficulty holding things if the condition is severe. The syndrome may also cause tingling in the forearm and upper arm. These symptoms usually start slow and get progressively worse if not treated. These symptoms usually show up after a night’s sleep, and initially do not last for more than 5-10 minutes. But as the condition worsens, they can stay for increasingly long intervals, too.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can have various etiologies. It may be caused by repetitive wrist motion or incorrect sleeping positions that causes compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can also lead to this condition. Women going through pregnancy also have a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Consult a pain doctor as soon as possible to diagnose and treat this condition. He may perform the “Tinel Sign” test, along with other imaging studies such as an x-ray, ultrasounds, or MRIs to help in the diagnosis. The doctor may also perform a nerve conduction study or an Electromyogram to diagnose the condition.

The good news is that the condition is treatable. Simple lifestyle changes that may help avoid putting any strain on the wrist, exercises, and physical therapy, stretching can help cure the syndrome. In severe cases, splints, medication, steroid injections and surgery may be required too. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above, consult us by calling at 570-323-3106 to make an appointment.