People who are involved in doing repetitive motions during their day (at work or home) often suffer from a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Although it could happen to anyone, there are some particular kinds of professionals who are often diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Individuals who work on the computer for prolonged hours
- Assembly-line workers
- Auto mechanics
There are also a few hobbies, including boating, golfing, needlework or gardening, that give way to the syndrome. You must have the condition evaluated by a qualified professional physician who can evaluate the symptoms and suggest the required treatment.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain that disrupts sleep
- Numbness in your middle fingers or pain in your thumb
- Weakness in your hand and arm
- Difficulty gripping objects
- Difficulty handling small objects
- Swollen fingers
It is crucial to know these symptoms may also refer to another medical condition. Therefore, it is important you do not self-diagnose and get in touch with your physician for a detailed evaluation. Due to pressure on the median nerve, people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome experience a dull or throbbing pain. There is also some swelling that may make the condition worse. This swelling can be due to several factors, such as:
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis
- Repetitive hand movements, particularly if the wrist is bent down or when making the same wrist movements for a longer period.
Carpal tunnel syndrome also causes the fingers and hand to become numb or weak. Some people have a relentless pain in their arm that goes up to their elbows. Most commonly, the initial symptoms begin to occur in the middle finger and the thumb. When you experience pain in all your fingers excluding your little finger; then you may be suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because a different nerve is responsible for sending feelings to the little finger. Frequently, you notice the first symptoms at night when you lie down to sleep. Shaking your hand may offer you some relief.
Your doctor is going to ask if you have suffered from any health problems before, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or arthritis. If you are pregnant, you could also develop this syndrome. Sometimes, it also develops due to an injury to the arm, neck or wrist. Learning more about your daily routine will give your doctor a fair idea about diagnosing and treating the syndrome. During an examination, the doctor will check the appearance of your neck and the feelings of your hands, wrists and shoulders. A few nerve or blood tests may also be required in some cases.
Generally, mild symptoms are treated with home care. The doctor will suggest you to stop doing any activities that cause pain and numbness in your hands. You will be advised to rest your wrist between longer periods of activity. You may also require medicines to treat the carpal tunnel syndrome so that pain and inflammation can be relieved.