102013Jun

How to Recognize the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you have pain or other discomfort in your hand, fingers, wrist or forearm, then you may be experiencing symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome. This common condition can cause a range of symptoms, and identifying them early can help prevent your case from worsening. Many times, treating the symptoms when they’re mild can help to avoid a more drastic carpal tunnel procedure such as surgery.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel may occur in just one hand, or you may notice that one hand has more severe symptoms than the other. In the early stages, the symptoms may be mild and vague enough to be dismissed without a second thought. However, if left untreated, whether with home treatment or by a hand specialist, this condition generally worsens over time.

Here are the most common warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Mild Symptoms

* Weakness, numbness, tingling or pain in the fingers, palm, wrist or forearm that may be relieved by moving or shaking your fingers

* Pain or numbness that gets worse at night or when you’re using your hand and wrist, especially when you bend your wrist or grip an object

* Aching pain between your wrist and elbow

* Stiff fingers when you wake up in the morning

Moderate to Severe Symptoms

* Dropping objects more frequently than before

* Difficulty performing small daily tasks such as holding a fork or brushing your hair

* Trouble pinching objects with your first finger and thumb

* Difficulty using your thumb for tasks such as using a screwdriver or opening jars

Although these symptoms are typical of carpal tunnel, other conditions can mimic this syndrome. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment, our experienced hand doctors can evaluate your case and recommend the best plan for your needs and lifestyle.