Dr. Frank Collier is a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician and Pain Management Specialist who specializes in the treatment of injuries and illnesses that affect how people move and function while living with pain.VIEW FULL BIO
The hands are easily one of the most versatile parts of the human body. Our hands have helped us advance as a species, from sign language to the ability to text and type. Our hands help us communicate, they help us get our jobs done, and at the end of a long day they help us prepare a meal for dinner and then prepare a bed for the night.
But for some people, even doing these most basic of tasks requires dealing with a great deal of pain. The reason for that is carpal tunnel syndrome, an issue that causes chronic pain in the wrists and hands.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by nerve damage, specifically regarding the median nerve, which is in the wrist. The median nerve runs alongside several tendons from the forearm all the way into the hand along a small space that is known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve is responsible for controlling movement and feeling in your thumb and the first three fingers, the index finger, middle finger and ring finger. When there is pressure placed on the median nerve you can lose feeling in those fingers, as well as pain and tingling throughout the hand and wrist. This is known colloquially as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Seeing the Signs of Carpal Tunnel
The best time to treat carpal tunnel is early on, before there is a long period of swelling and potential damage done to the tendons of the wrist. The best way to identify carpal tunnel is via the symptoms.
These symptoms include:
- Numbness or pain in the hand, forearm and wrist, especially at night.
- Tingling or numbness in the hands, including that “pins-and-needles” feeling.
- Aching or soreness between the forearm and wrist.
- Stiffness in the fingers, particularly when waking in the morning.
Carpal tunnel can sometimes be mistaken for other health conditions, including tendinitis or excessive inflammation as a result of arthritis. If you are experiencing pain in your hand and wrist, it is recommended that you reach out to your Jacksonville orthopedic specialists to speak with a medical professional on how to best treat carpal tunnel syndrome.