What are the Warning Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

With modern day lifestyles, many people seem to be suffering from various forms of wrist or hand problems.

The term carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) seems to be the current ‘buzz’ word describing any condition affecting wrist and hand movement, but how does a person know that the condition is not due to bursitis or some other affliction?

It is important that the correct early warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome be recognized so that treatment can be obtained, and so avoid this debilitating condition from becoming worse.

The wrist is one of the most commonly used joints in the body, yet it is very small. There are small bones in the wrist called carpal bones. These bones, along with the carpal ligament form a space known as the carpal tunnel, which contains tendons and a nerve which control and give feelings to the hand and fingers.

The nerve passing through the carpal tunnel is the median nerve, and if excess pressure is applied to this nerve it becomes compressed, and ceases to function correctly,  resulting in the symptoms to which we currently refer to as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Read: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes and Symptoms

The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel can gradually develop over time within days to years. The same symptoms may also be recurring or consistent for some individuals. If the experience of any of these symptoms is frequent, individuals are advised to seek medical attention. Here are the symptoms:

a) At its onset, carpal tunnel syndrome starts to manifest itself when an individual experiences pain in the palm of the hand and the wrist. Sometimes, individuals may feel pain on one hand. However, studies have shown that the other hand may also be affected as a result of nerve conduction abnormalities.

b) Numbness, Burning, or Tingling. Some individuals may experience any one of these symptoms while others experience two or all of it. These sensations are commonly felt in the middle finger and/or the thumb. It is typical for the index finger to experience no symptoms. If the condition persists, an individual may feel pain gradually extending to the forearms or shoulders.

c) Loss of sensation. As an affected individual’s hands become numb, symptoms may progress towards loss of the ability to feel cold and heat. Individuals may also experience weakness and in some cases, the proneness to have things dropped from their grip.

d) The sensation of swelling. Even though there is no observable swelling in the hands, individuals may feel as though their hands are swollen. If this symptom appears, carpal tunnel syndrome is considered severe.

So what are the warning signs we should be aware of which may indicate the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Warning Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Certainly, the most common sign will be associated with feelings of numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the hand. The numbness can possibly become worse at night time, causing the person to awaken.
  • Apart from the early warning given by the numbness, unusual pain may be experienced in the wrist and hand, which can often extend up the forearm.
  • Another indication is that the hands can feel cold while at the same time the forearms have a sensation of warmth, although obviously, they are both at the same temperature.
  • If the condition progresses sudden shooting pains may be experienced in the hands, wrist, and forearm. This can be extremely stressful since a worry is constantly present in the mind in anticipating the next onset of such sudden pain.
  • If the wrist is aching, and pain, previously not experienced develops in the neck and shoulder region, this too could be an early warning of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Perhaps the most worrying aspect in relation to CTS is that dependent upon the degree of damage to the median nerve there is a distinct possibility of a loss of strength in the affected hand. This can lead to difficulty with hand dexterity in the ability to pick up objects. This is a certain warning of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Any person, who has a job which entails repetitive movement of the wrist, or is involved in continually handling vibrating equipment like road drills, should be aware that they are at risk of being affected by CTS and be aware of the early warning signs.

What are the Warning Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Last Updated: 25/7/2017

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