There are steps you can take to get through, and get over, carpal tunnel syndrome. But before you start trying to do things on your own, you should learn all you can about this condition. It will also be helpful for you to talk with a medical professional, because the right treatment can make a tremendous difference.
To explain what happens when you suffer from this malady, use the most basic terms. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the nerves in your hand, palm, fingers and wrist. The word “tunnel” is used because there is an actual open passage that is like a tunnel. If this tunnel swells, the pressure and the inflammation of the tissue can affect the nerves and cause pain. You may also feel numbness or tingling.
The syndrome can be temporary, but it usually results from stress from repetitive motion, such as doing the same job with your hands on an assembly line or constant typing on a keyboard. It’s also possible to cause inflammation with use of power tools or hand tools for a long period.
As long as this activity continues, carpal tunnel problems may continue. There are a number of symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from this condition. You may also experience this condition due to health problems such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, or a wrist fracture.
The first may be tingling or a numb feeling in the hands or wrists. Some people who suffer carpal tunnel syndrome say it feels like they have needles and pins sticking into their wrists and hands. It’s also possible that you’ll feel pain, or a burning sensation. If either of this early symptoms occur, you’d be wise to contact a medical professional and discuss your options for reducing or eliminating the problem.
Taking this step, at this point, will be very important, because some of the other symptoms are not just symptoms. They can be serious problems that will keep you from performing your everyday tasks. For example, you may begin to feel cramping in your hands – fingers, wrist – and this may even extend to muscle cramp above the wrist.
More Serious Conditions
If you don’t take steps to reduce or eliminate the early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you could begin to experience muscle weakness. You may not be able to grip as well, which could cause you to drop objects. Some people have also reported difficulty with their normal sleep pattern. For example, if you hold your hands or wrists in a specific position during sleep, it’s possible for you to begin experiencing wrist cramps and that numb feeling.
This may even advance to the point that your fingers and hands are stiff when you wake up. This feeling might go away in a few minutes but it doesn’t mean carpal tunnel syndrome has “gone away.” It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional about any problems you might experience, since carpal tunnel syndrome may, or may not, be the actual cause.