Carpal tunnel syndrome risks and causes
Risk factors that increase your chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Medical problems such as diabetes or thyroid disorders
Family history (immediate family member with carpal tunnel syndrome)
Frequent/repetitive hand or wrist movements (such as keyboarding)
Frequent/repetitive gripping movements (found in many sports)
Hormonal changes (such as pregnancy or menopause)
Injuries to the hand or wrist (a sprain or dislocation)
Joint or bone disease (including many types of arthritis)
Metabolic changes (such as thyroid issues)
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
A feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers and/or thumbs
Burning/tingling in the fingers
Hand weakness when gripping objects
Numbness and/or pain in one or both hands
Sleep interrupted by hand pain or numbness
Swollen or swollen feeling in fingers and/or thumbs
Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis
Specialists at The Christ Hospital Health Network diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by reviewing your symptoms and health history, and then conducting a physical exam. Other tests may be performed, including electrodiagnostic testing (measures the electrical activity of muscles and nerves) is the most effective way to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. These include:
Nerve conduction test - assesses how fast an electric signal travels along a nerve or from the nerve to a muscle in the hand.
Electromyogram - measures how well the muscle around the nerves of the hand works.
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment
Your doctor considers multiple factors when determining a treatment plan for your carpal tunnel syndrome, including your age, current pain level and the success of previous treatments, procedures or therapies.
The most common treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Anti-inflammatory medication—can be taken orally or injected to help reduce swelling of the carpal tunnel area.
Ergonomic changes—these simple, yet effective, approaches, such as changing the position of your work keyboard or computer, can help to reduce symptoms.
Exercise—supervised by a physical or occupational therapist, hand stretching and strengthening exercises can be beneficial for carpal tunnel symptom relief.
Hand splinting—helps to immobilize the wrist and ease nerve compression inside the carpal tunnel area.
Surgery—carpal tunnel release surgery, very common in the U.S., relieves nerve compression in the carpal tunnel area.
Orthopedic specialists at The Christ Hospital Health Network are among the most experienced and skilled doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Find a hand and wrist specialist near you.