Have you been feeling a continuous tingling feeling and numbness in your hands? Has it creeped up your thumb and your first two fingers in your forearm? Many who experience this often think it's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Swelling, inflammation or fracture can narrow this tunnel when undue pressure is placed on your median nerve, causing this pain and tingling sensation.
Participating in repetitive activities with your hands for long stretches of time can lead to developing inflammation of the carpal tunnel. Whether you're at your computer all day or working on the assembly line, lack of variety in activity can lead to problems. If you’ve broken your wrist, are pregnant or suffer from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, your risk of developing CTS is even higher.
If you’re concerned about your wrist pains, Lawrence Journal-World shares eight signs that indicate you could possibly have carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Numbness and tingling affecting primarily the palm side of your thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of your ring finger.
- Painful burning or shooting pains along your hand, wrist or forearm.
- Muscle cramps in your fingers, palm, wrist and forearm.
- You tend to drop objects and your grip isn’t as strong as it used to be.
- Your sleep is disturbed because your wrists are bent. The accumulation of fluids in your hands and wrists may occur when you’re sleeping. These fluids, which do not drain properly while you’re lying down, place extra pressure on your median nerve.
- Muscle wasting, also called atrophy, which is first noted along the muscles under your thumb.
- Morning stiffness in your fingers and hands.
- Difficulty accurately detecting hot and cold using your fingers and hands.
You can alleviate some of the pain you may be feeling by creating variety in your work tasks. For example, instead of typing on your keyboard for hours, try a dictation device or writing by hand.
You can also benefit from changing your posture throughout the day or taking breaks and stretching every every 10 to 15 minutes. Consider ergonomic devices, like a wrist rest or vertical mouse, that can help prevent these problems.
Using the Gelliflex™ Abacus™ to target some wrist techniques like wrist rolling and wrist compression, which can reduce the amount of stress on your hands and wrists and reduce the risk of developing CTS.
Many people who think they have CTS may actually have wrist tendinitis since the symptoms, especially in the hands and fingers, are very similar.
It's best to check with your physician to confirm that you do in fact have CTS and to find ways to relieve your symptoms.