Carpal tunnel is a painful progressive condition that is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist area. The median nerve is one that runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand and when squeezed or pressed can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Sensations in the palm of the hand and fingers are controlled by the median nerve, which allows these to move. The thickening of irritated tendons or other types of swelling in the carpal tunnel may result in pain, weakness, or even numbness in the hand and wrist. This too can radiate up into the arm causing unwanted pain and sensations.
Early detection and treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is very important. But how do you know that you have carpal tunnel symptoms and not something else? Early signs can be subtle and easily mistaken for other issues, if you are experiencing any of the following, you might be at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
- Hand and fingers become numb – Generally, this is the first sign of carpal tunnel. Tingling is a common symptom, especially when the hand and fingers are at rest or while one is sleeping. The numbing of the hand and fingers usually wakes individuals up frequently during the night, but most do not realize this is a symptom.
- Hand pain and or wrist pain
- Pain radiating up into the forearm
- Hands turn cold, but forearms are warm
- Loss of feeling in fingers and thumb
- Loss of fine motor skills in the hands – Are you clumsier than usual? Individuals who have carpal tunnel syndrome tend to drop objects such as forks, glasses, pens, and so on.
- Weakness in the hand and wrist – Loss of hand muscles and strength tends to occur.
- Poor circulation
- Aching in shoulders and neck
- High blood pressure and poor health from chronic sleep loss
- Inability to perform daily tasks – Such as tying shoes, buttoning buttons, applying make-up and turning a key.
These carpal tunnel symptoms start gradually, with frequent tingling and numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers. The symptoms often will appear in one or both hands during the night. Some individuals feel the need to wake up from sleep to “shake out” the hand or wrist. As symptoms progress, people might feel the tingling and numbness onset during the daytime. But with early diagnosis, detection and treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can be reversed, even the worst of symptoms. Using a wrist brace, such as the aPallo wrist brace system, can help to alleviate these signs and symptoms during the day and night. By supporting the wrist properly, pain can be reduced and discomfort tamed.