Getting Ahead Of Carpal Tunnel

Caused by pressure on the median nerve, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury that impacts the tendons of the forearm, wrist, and hand. The condition normally occurs because of repetitive activities and can affect people across a range of professions. People that work on assembly lines and even office workers with typing jobs are most likely to suffer from carpal tunnel. The severity of the diagnosis can vary widely. While many people can take preventative measures to correct the problem, others may require surgery. Read the early warning signs below to determine if carpal tunnel is an issue.

mackinaw surgery center 3 Early Signs Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Should You Consider Minimally Invasive Surgery.jpg

1. Tingling and numbness

Often, the first symptoms someone with CTS might experience are tingling and numbness in the injured area. In particular, people may feel sensations in the fingers of the affected hand. For most individuals, the feelings are limited to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, especially when grasping items. The pinky is usually not impacted. Initially, the sensations may be slight, but as the condition progresses, tingling and numbness may intensify.

2. Experiencing a poor grip

Occasionally having an object slip from the hands is no cause for concern. However, consistent difficulty maintaining a good grip on items is another early sign that carpal tunnel may be at play. A poor grip may appear as weakened hand strength and can be combined with tingling and numbness. In more advanced stages, declining hand strength can translate to difficulty working with small objects like buttons.

3. Symptoms that start at night

In the early days of carpal tunnel syndrome, people suffering from the condition may experience slight symptoms in the evening. The main cause of time-specific irritation is that many people tend to sleep on the wrists, putting direct pressure on the median nerve. As a result, individuals may need to shake the hands after waking and complain of numbness or tingling in the morning.

Early solutions

If caught early, carpal tunnel can respond well to preventative, noninvasive treatments. Common solutions include wearing a brace on the affected hand, taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications, engaging in gentle exercises, and avoiding repetitive motions. If the condition progresses, some people can benefit from steroid injections at the injury site.

When to consider surgery

While many people can get relief from noninvasive treatments, other individuals may have progressed to the point of needing surgery. Thankfully, many modern surgeries are minimally invasive, resulting in shorter recovery periods and smaller scars. Usually scheduled as an outpatient procedure, the surgery works to reduce pressure on the median nerve, which should relieve or eliminate symptoms. Individuals concerned about progressive carpal tunnel should consult a healthcare provider to determine the best solution.