The Basics of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Tunnel Syndrome

Your median nerve runs through your wrist through the carpal tunnel. When your median nerve is pinched or compressed, you will suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes gradual and increasing symptoms such as pain and numbness in the wrist. Desert State Pain Control offers Jersey City hand and wrist pain relief from carpal tunnel syndrome conditions, helping patients regain sensation in your hand and resume regular physical activities.

Causes of wrist pain

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that often happens in late life and is the compression of the median nerve as it travels on the undersurface of the wrist joint.

Symptoms

The typical first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will be a tingling (pins and needles) sensation extending down into the hand usually experienced at night. Patients are often woken up with numbness, with the little finger being last affected.

What to expect during a physical examination for carpal tunnel syndrome

When you visit a care provider, he or she will first review your history.

  •  When conducting the examination, your doctor will look at your hand.
  •  Your doctor will look for old injuries to the wrist that may have increased the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • The comprehensive assessment also involves your doctor brushing your skin, ensuring that the sensation received is normal.
  • More specifically, your doctor will measure whether there is a loss of sensation through a test called two-point discrimination.

What are the various tests used?

When your doctor examines your carpal tunnel, your care provider will tap the front of your wrist. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you will experience a tingling sensation going down in the fingers, going up the arm, or, if unpleasant, an electric shock type sensation.

Another provocative test involves bending the wrist forwards or backward and holding it in that position for up to a minute, this may bring on the sensation of numbness or a pins and needles sensation in the fingers.

Suppose there are doubts as to whether the diagnosis is carpal tunnel syndrome or not. In that case, your doctor will refer you to a nerve conduction test. In this electrical test, a neurophysiologist records the conduction of electricity across the carpal tunnel. It then can work out whether there is slowing of the conduction consistent with the diagnosis of the syndrome.

When is surgery required?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can resolve spontaneously, so when you first present symptoms, it is not unreasonable to give it a bit of time to see if it will go away on its own. If using a splint on the front of your wrist controls the symptoms, then your condition’s severity is manageable.

A cortisone injection into the carpal tunnel is another conservative method of relieving pain. However, in many cases, the use of splints and medications offers temporary relief. 

If you have persisting symptoms and have tried the above conservative methods, your doctor may recommend surgery. Patients with severe syndromes, including permanent numbness and weakened hand muscles, may also benefit from surgical intervention.

How you can check yourself for carpal tunnel syndrome

If you are concerned that you might have the condition, the most important thing is to make a mental note of when you get the symptoms and what you can do to relieve them. If, for example, you have been woken up at night with numbness and tingling in your hand, then often shaking it around or handing it over to the side of the bed to relieve the symptoms will confirm carpal tunnel syndrome. Get the effective diagnosis and treatment of your carpal tunnel syndrome by booking an appointment at Garden State Pain Control today.

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