Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs along the entire length of the arm. It controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and all fingers besides the pinky. Pressure on the median nerve results in a narrowing of the carpal tunnel, usually from swelling.
If you are suffering from any carpal tunnel syndrome signs, contact our neurology clinic in Las Vegas. Click here for a full list of the insurances we accept. Early treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome can relieve symptoms and prevent permanent damage. At Silver State Neurology, our Las Vegas neurologist can provide treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Christopher Milford wants to help all patients achieve a better quality of life. Learn more about our neurologist in Las Vegas on Facebook! Continue reading to learn about carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms!
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Signs of carpal tunnel syndrome can start to develop due to repetitive motions of the wrist. This is especially true for actions that require use of the lower part of the wrist. Activities like typing on keyboard, texting, or even playing video games can cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be caused by a wrist injury, such as a fracture or sprain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than it is in men. This is due to women having a relatively smaller carpal tunnel space. Going through menopause also increases risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Conditions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome include hypothyroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Being pregnant can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome flare-ups. Symptoms can last a long time and get worse with time. They may even go away and return. Seeing a neurologist in Las Vegas means an earlier diagnosis and better treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tingling: You may experience tingling in your fingers or hands. However, the pinky finger is unaffected by carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The sensation may feel similar to an electric shock in your fingers. It travels from the wrist up the arm, and it is usually felt while holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper.
- Numbness: While you’re sleeping, your fingers might fall asleep and become numb at night due to your muscles being relaxed. It is common to wake up in the morning with numbness that runs from your hands all the way to your shoulder.
- Weakness: Pressure on the median nerve can cause decreased function. Your muscles can actually start to shrink, leading to a loss of strength and coordination. This weakness also decreases the ability for your thumb to pinch properly. You might start to become more prone to dropping things.
Can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?
While we can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome at our Las Vegas neurology clinic, there are methods you can use to minimize stress on your hands and wrists. These methods will help to reduce your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
- Keep your hands warm! Your hands are more likely to be stiff and painful when cold. Use gloves that cover your hands and wrists.
- Improve your posture. Proper posture will lengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders while relaxing your nerves. This, in turn, affects your wrists, hands, and fingers. You should also avoid bending your wrists all the way up or down. Keeping a middle position is more relaxing.
- Relax your grip. Putting less force behind wrist movements will reduce strain and pressure on the median nerve.
- Stretch periodically! Gently stretch and bend your wrists and hands. Remember to take breaks often when you’re doing activities that require use of your wrists. Alternate tasks whenever possible.