Diagnosis and Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, weakness, or numbness in your hand and wrist. It develops when the carpal tunnel, the space in the wrist, narrows. Narrowing irritates the median nerve, which provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger, causing pain and swelling. You are at higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome if you perform activities involving repetitive use of your fingers. Tingling, pain, and numbness in your fingers are early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is treatable. The treatment technique your Samwell Institute for Pain Management doctor uses depends on your carpal tunnel syndrome severity.

Diagnosis for carpal tunnel syndrome

Tinel’s sign

Tinel’s sign is a test where your doctor taps over the median nerve in your wrist. Tapping helps the provider see if the nerve produces a tingling sensation in your fingers.

Wrist flexion test

The wrist flexion test involves resting your elbows on a table and allowing your wrist to gall forward freely. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you will feel tingling in your fingers within one minute. The faster your symptoms appear, the more severe your condition.

X-ray

Your doctor can recommend an X-ray if you have limited wrist motion or to prove if you have arthritis or trauma.

Electromyography

Electromyography shows how well your median nerve is working. It can also help your doctor observe how the meridian nerve controls muscle movement in your hand.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

The treatment option your doctor recommends depends on the severity of carpal tunnel syndrome pain and if you have any weakness. There are various treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

Non-surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatments help treat mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and enable you to perform your regular duties. These treatments include:

Splint: Your doctor can recommend you wear a wrist splint to support your hand in a neutral position, especially at night.

Medications: You can get non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to ease pain and inflammation.

Injections: Corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation and pain.

Lifestyle changes: Making modifications in your workplace, like changing your hand position while working and adjusting your computer keyboard or your chair position, can help reduce your symptoms.

Managing underlying conditions: If your carpal tunnel syndrome results from other issues like arthritis or diabetes, your doctor will develop the best treatment for the underlying issues.

Surgical treatment

Your healthcare provider can recommend surgery if you have severe carpal tunnel syndrome or non-surgical treatment options is ineffective. The surgical procedure to treat carpal tunnel syndrome involves your surgeon cutting the ligament of the carpal tunnel at the base of your palm. The ligament is called the carpal ligament. The primary goal of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery is to broaden the carpal tunnel to help minimize pressure on the nerves and tendons that pass through the space.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, weakness, or numbness in your hand and wrist. There are many treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, including splints, medications, injections, and surgery. Schedule an appointment at SamWell Institute for Pain Management for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment to relieve your wrist pain.

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