Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, is a term many people have heard before, and most believe they know what it involves, namely, pain in the hand and wrist, particularly during certain activities (such as using a keyboard and mouse for hours at a time). However, there are numerous symptoms that differentiate CTS from other conditions that affect the hand and wrist, and knowing what to look out for can help you seek out the right treatment before you develop more serious issues in the future.
In addition to soreness and stiffness, CTS can also create numbness and tingling in the hand and wrist, which is sometimes referred to as “pins and needles.” What’s important to note is that CTS can affect the wrist, thumb, and fingers, but never the pinkie finger—this is due to the nerve structure of your hand. Sometimes, this tingling can even turn into sudden “shocks” of pain.
CTS is caused by the muscles and ligaments of the wrist becoming inflamed and pressing on the median nerve, and this can cause the fingers to feel swollen even if they don’t look like it. Most people notice this either at the end of the workday or in the morning (since many people sleep with their wrists bent at an odd angle).
Weakness in the hand can also be caused by CTS, which can lead to people dropping things more often and having trouble handling small objects, like buttons or writing utensils. In extreme cases, CTS can even cause the muscle at the base of the thumb to atrophy.
Together, the above symptoms almost always indicate CTS, but just a few may point to other conditions that can impact the hand and wrist, including:
If you experience problems with your wrist and hand to the point that they are interfering with your day to day life, it’s important that you contact our practice right away. Typically, CTS responds very well to conservative treatment when detected early, but it can lead to lasting damage if left alone. Fortunately, our team has helped countless patients overcome this condition thanks to our regenerative medicine techniques.
You don’t have to live with constant hand and wrist pain! Give the New England Stem Cell Institute a call today so we can put you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.