Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Overview

carpal tunnel syndromeCarpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand condition that occurs when extra pressure is put on the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is very narrow and is surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve becomes compressed, you may feel tingling, numbness, and even weakness in your fingers and thumb. Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome can stop the numbness and tingling and restore function.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve. However, several other factors can cause carpal tunnel syndrome as well, including:

  • The anatomy of your wrist.
  • Possibly repetitive hand motions, such as typing or painting.
  • Health conditions.
  • Wrist fracture.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

In some cases, there may be more than one cause, and in other cases, a doctor may be unable to determine a cause.

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually. You may not even suspect you have this condition. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness and Tingling: You may feel tingling and/or numbness in your fingers or hand. In most cases, your index, middle, ring fingers, and thumb are affected. The tingling may feel like a small shock on those fingers and is more common after holding an object, such as your steering wheel or phone. The tingling may even wake you up.
  • Weakness in Your Hand: You may notice that your hand feels weak – even to the point of causing you to drop items. The median nerve controls the muscles in the thumb, allowing you to pinch items between your fingers and thumb. The nerve may not be sending the proper messages to your thumb.

Risk factors include a wrist fracture or dislocation, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, inflammatory conditions, certain medications, such as Arimidex (used to treat breast cancer), obesity, workplace factors such as working with tools that vibrate and repeated movements with your wrist and hand, and body fluid retention.

Where To Find Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Prescott, AZ

To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome, speak with a doctor at Granite Orthopaedics. Schedule a consultation today by calling 928-777-9950. Granite Orthopaedics serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, and the surrounding areas of Arizona.

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