What does carpal tunnel feel like?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause serious hand and finger numbness, tingling, discomfort, and persistent nighttime symptoms primarily in the wrist and hand. These symptoms often lead sufferers to feel pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers and thumb, weakness in the hand and fingers, and loss of grip strength.
According to Dr. Nathan Lesley, MD, of The Hand to Shoulder Center in Forth Worth, Texas, this disorder is diagnosed more frequently after age 40. However, orthopedic surgeons know from experience that this is not always the case. People of all ages and demographics can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
How do you get Carpal Tunnel?
Several factors may contribute to carpal tunnel developing earlier in life. For example, individuals who require repetitive use of the hand and wrist because of their occupation are at higher risk of developing the syndrome.
People involved in sports may be diagnosed earlier due to specific traumas to the area. Other medical conditions contributing to the disorder are pregnancy and obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and high blood pressure.
Studies show that women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. Generally speaking, a woman's wrist is narrower than a man's, so the carpal tunnel tends to be smaller for women.
The most significant contributing factor is the size of the median nerve, which becomes compressed when swelling narrows the passage. Women are more likely to experience pressure on the median nerve because of the narrow passageway in their wrist. At the same time, men usually require a more significant amount of swelling before they notice any symptoms.
How to treat Carpal Tunnel?
Fortunately, there are a variety of therapies available to alleviate the painful symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the severity of the swelling in your carpal tunnel, and the intensity of your pain, non-surgical treatment might be right for you. Non-invasive treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Bracing or Splinting
If non-surgical treatment does not reduce your pain, it may be time to consider surgery. Come see our fellowship-trained hand surgeons. This procedure may be performed in-office for a significant reduction in cost. See our pricing page for more information or request a consultation to receive a personalized estimate.