Most of the time, the initial symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are pretty minor, so rather than visiting a doctor and undergoing treatment, many people choose to simply ignore it. They figure it will just go away on its own. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Left untreated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause a wide variety of issues beyond slight pain in the wrist and hand. Read on to learn what can happen if you try to “tough it out” through CTS.
More Pain for Longer Periods
Usually, CTS develops due to a repetitive motion of the hand and wrist. During the early stages, the pain and stiffness may only occur during the activity that triggered the condition in the first place. Over time, however, the compression of the median nerve will increase, meaning a person may experience soreness hours before and after the activity, and it will eventually become constant.
The median nerve travels through your entire arm and neck before reaching your wrist and hand. As the condition progresses, the ache associated with CTS will likely be felt in the arm and neck, too.
Weakness in the Fingers & Thumb
Ultimately, CTS can lead to weakness and a lack of coordination in your thumb and first two fingers. People tend to drop things more often and have difficulty with tasks that require fine motor skills, such as fastening buttons, writing, or picking up whatever they dropped off the floor.
What to Do Instead of Waiting
As soon as you notice any symptoms of CTS, you should contact a doctor, as it can be effectively treated using non-invasive methods such as bracing or activity modification. For more advanced cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections, or if they are familiar with regenerative medicine, a treatment called nerve hydrodissection. This involves injecting fluid into the wrist that provides a cushion for the compressed median nerve, which should reduce or eliminate CTS-related symptoms. Without early intervention, the only choice a patient may be left with is surgery, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and cause a number of complications. Thankfully, a lot can be done before someone reaches this point.
While your life might be busy, not seeking out treatment for your CTS now will only cause you to experience more pain and force you to spend more time and money to address it later. Being proactive will help you avoid unneeded suffering and get your health back on track as quickly as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Paul Tortland is an osteopathic physician who is also certified in Regenerative Medicine as well as Sports Medicine. At his clinic in Jupiter, the New England Stem Cell Institute, he provides traditional care as well as cutting-edge regenerative medicine to help patients overcome pain and injury without having to resort to invasive surgery or medication. If you’re currently struggling with CTS, he can help you finally stop it. To learn more and schedule an appointment, click here.