Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones play an integral role in our society today. While these devices benefit us in many ways, they can also create problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that often develops as a result of typing and working on the computer. If you are experiencing pain or weakness in your fingers, or if you have noticed a tingling sensation or numbness in your fingers, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. This happens as a result of a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist. Some people are more susceptible to carpal tunnel than others, based on the anatomy of the wrist and genetics. Repetitive hand motions are also a major contributor to carpal tunnel.
To effectively treat carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important you schedule an appointment with a specialist as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers or hand
- A sensation that feels like an electrical shock in your fingers
- A sensation that travels from your wrist up to your arm, sometimes even up to the shoulder
- Weakness in the hands
- Tendency to drop objects
You should see your doctor if the above signs and symptoms are persistent and do not go away. In some cases, carpal tunnel may interfere with your ability to enjoy everyday activities and even perform your job.
Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often confused with arthritis, especially in patients who have never experienced these sensations. One of the main differences is that usually only one hand is affected and the joints hurt but do not swell as much as they do with arthritis. Patients also report shooting pains in the forearm, wrist, and hand when carpal tunnel is present. While arthritis may increase your chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, it is quite different.
In addition to those who work on the computer every day, individuals who use vibrating tools and other equipment are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome because of overuse. People who work in manufacturing, carpentry, construction, packaging, and appliance industries are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than others.
To ensure you receive appropriate treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, early diagnosis is key. If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, please schedule an appointment with a specialist at one of our locations in Dallas, Allen, Flower Mound, Frisco, or McKinney. Depending on whether or not the disease has progressed, treatment may include resting your wrists in between certain activities, taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, icing your wrists from time to time, wearing a wrist splint while sleeping, performing stretching and strengthening exercises on the wrist and arm. To learn more about these treatment options or about carpal tunnel syndrome in general, please contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.