Waking up with numbness in hands, continuous tingling in your hands and arm are common signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition happens when the median nerve squeezes or gets exposed to pressure. It is also known as median nerve compression. This nerve passes through a narrow wrist passage called the carpal tunnel, which is connected to several bones and ligaments.
The median nerve controls the feeling and movement of your thumb and all the fingers except the pinky. If there is continued pressure on this nerve, your symptoms may worsen. Without intervention, you may experience nerve damage.
The main symptoms include:
- Burning, itching, or tingling sensation in your palm or hand
- Numbness in the palm and thumb or the index and middle fingers
- Pain or tingling sensations that move up to your arm
- Shock-like sensations moving into your fingers
- Weakness in the hand and arm muscles
Initially, you may feel that your fingers fall asleep or become numb at night. You may wake up with numbness and tingling in your hand, which may run all the way to your shoulder. Your symptoms may aggravate when your wrist stays bent in one position for a few minutes.
During the initial days, you may see that shaking out your hands reduces the numbness. However, it won’t make you feel any better after some time.
If your symptoms worsen, your grip strength may be compromised as the muscles in your hand shrink. The pain will increase and you may even experience muscle cramps.
The pressure won’t allow your median nerve to function properly, resulting in:
- Slower nerve impulses
- Compromised strength and coordination of your fingers and hand
- Reduced feeling in your fingers
Different factors may combine to cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Women and older adults are more susceptible to developing this condition.
Common causes include:
- Repetitive wrist movements or improper wrist position
- Repetitive hand use for prolonged periods resulting in pressure on the median nerve
- Health conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and hypothyroidism
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Typically, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome worsens over time if patients don’t receive proper treatment. Hence, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are critical. Our trained physical therapists can diagnose the problem via a thorough physical exam. It involves X-rays, flexibility tests, and a comparative analysis of your previous medical records.
The diagnostic reports provide more clarity about your condition. We use the acquired information to develop a targeted physical therapy plan.
Treatment options cover basic exercises and activities. We also teach simple nerve gliding exercises to relieve pressure on your median nerve. Most of these techniques are easy-to-follow and practice at home. Daily movement and routine treatment results in a speedy recovery.
If you want to learn more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’s treatment, give us a call @ 201-773-8851 or book an initial consultation session with us today.