Carpal tunnel results from a coursing nerve’s entrapment at the wrist. The tunnel is a narrow passageway shaped by the small proximal bones of the hand, flexor tendons, and an overlying tissue sheath.
The syndrome contributes to a fraction of wrist-related numbness and discomfort. And while it may be a proper diagnosis in your case, it may not explain the painful feeling in someone else’s palm. To know whether you’re battling carpal tunnel or not, you must understand its symptoms.
In this piece, we’ll guide you through all you need to know about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Should you feel tingles, or a painful sensation in your wrist, you’ll also learn how to sort it out.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS occurs when the carpal bones clamp against the patient’s median nerve. The effect of this pressure may extend from the wrist to the hands and fingers, making you experience varying nudges at these sites.
It may be an aftermath of an excessive straining extension or flexion of your hand, broken carpal bones, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, etc. If abandoned, it can worsen, causing permanent damage to the patient’s median nerve.
When carpal tunnel occurs, you’ll likely notice the following:
- Weakness of hand.
- Tingles, pain, and numbness at the thumb, middle, index, and a half portion of the ring finger.
- A gradual size reduction of the thenar eminence.
- Grip difficulty.
At the clinic, numerous tests evaluate a carpal tunnel case. Some of these include:
1. Phalen’s Maneuver
It’s the wrist-flexion test requiring you to attempt pressing or moving your fingers toward your wrist. After about two minutes, numbness or tingling implies you have CTS.
2. Tinel’s Sign
Here the doctor taps the patient’s median nerve at the wrist to register sensation. A startling reaction is a positive result.
3. Nerve Conduction Velocity Examination
During this procedure, the apparatus estimates a nerve’s electrical conduction speed along itself and its innervating muscles. It is a practical test involving an electrode and mild electric current.
This equipment works similarly to the Nerve conduction velocity test, measuring the viability of the surrounding muscles of the nerve. Through a needle electrode, the machine relays impulses to your hand, making you flex and extend it repeatedly.
Other tests include two-point discrimination, ultrasound, MRI, X-ray, and physical methods.
Similar Medical Conditions to CTS
Instead of the typical compression at the wrist, it may be proximal. An example is around the elbow by the pronator teres muscle.
Rare nerve compression with similar symptoms includes the anterior interosseous nerve and entrapment by the Struthers ligament. Their signs include forearm pain, difficulty doing the ‘ok’ sign, hand clumsiness, etc.
Ways To Sort It Out
Usually, most patients recover from CTS after a few months.
Here are some treatment options.
- Use a wrist splint to straighten your hand, to minimize pressure on the nerve.
- Take your prescribed painkillers to help relieve pain.
- Practice some palmar exercises recommended by your physio Alexandria.
- Refrain from tasks that require you to bend your wrist repeatedly.
- Surgery may also be reliable, depending on your doctor’s findings.
Don’t hesitate to visit a hospital today if you feel any of the above signs.