Carpal tunnel. Who? What? Why?

Who?  Anyone can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.  It is often associated with repetitive motion at work or play but also frequently occurs in people with diabetes, thyroid disease, or in pregnant patients.

What?  Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets squished in the wrist.

Why?  Think about all the structures that need to help our fingers move: arteries, veins, nerves, tendons. It’s amazing there’s enough room for all that–so any swelling within the carpal tunnel tips the scale . . . and the hand has symptoms.

Common symptoms are

  • numbness,
  • tingling or pain in thumb, index or middle fingers,
  • swelling and tightness in the hand,
  • pain that shoots from your hand up through your arm,
  • numbness in the entire hand.

Associated symptoms include

  • difficulty holding (or dropping) objects,
  • numbness that’s worse at night or in the morning,
  • weakness in the hands or arms in the morning,
  • trouble opening a lid on a jar or using a screwdriver.

Treatment depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms.  Early diagnosis is important to successful treatment.  Options may include stretching, wrist braces or splints, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, strengthening exercises, cortisone injections, or surgery.

… I’m having an Abbott and Costello flashback.  Who is on first? What is on second?  I don’t know is on third?!

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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