The standard medical definition of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) goes something like this: "Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist."  While the official definition states it is due to a pinched nerve in your wrist, I have found the condition to be more involved. If the proper additional areas of involvement are not addressed, you could end up having wrist focused treatment and not get your CTS resolved. You likely will need a more comprehensive approach such as I outline in this article. It's prudent to first describe the main symptoms that those with CTS often agonize with.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be quite painful and annoying to say the least. Below is a list of some of the symptoms that mild CTS sufferers experience:
- Numbness or pain in your hand, forearm, or wrist that awakens you at night. (Shaking or moving your fingers may ease this numbness and pain.)
- Occasional tingling, numbness, "pins-and-needles" sensation, or pain. The feeling is similar to your hand "falling asleep."
- Numbness or pain that gets worse while you are using your hand or wrist. You are most likely to feel it when you grip an object with your hand or bend (flex) your wrist.
- Occasional aching pain in your forearm between your elbow and wrist.
- Stiffness in your fingers when you get up in the morning.
moderate to severe sufferers often experience the following:
- May have numbness or reduced strength and grip in your fingers, thumb, or hand. As as result of the weakness it may be hard to:
- Do simple hand movements, such as brushing your hair or holding a fork. You may accidentally drop objects.
- Pinch an object between your thumb and first finger. (This is called loss of pinch strength.)
- Use your thumb while doing simple tasks such as opening a jar or using a screwdriver. With long-term carpal tunnel syndrome, the thumb muscles can get smaller and weaker (atrophy).
Unfortunately, if you have severe true carpal tunnel syndrome (with significant pressure on the nerves that traverse under the ligaments in the wrist that make up the carpal tunnel), you may have to resort to surgery. However, people who have some of the very annoying CTS symptoms may not have carpal tunnel syndrome at all...or...may be able to receive non-surgical help. Let me explain how the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can come from problems in your neck, chest muscles and forearm muscles and what can be done about it.Read More