Noticing the Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Shooting pains and tingling in one or both wrists are often signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects up to 10 million Americans. Caused by compression of the nerve that passes down your arm into your hand, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can go from occasionally bothersome to perpetually debilitating over time. Thankfully, CTS is usually very treatable.

Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Read on to learn more about the signs of CTS and what to do once you notice them.

Early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome

You might not be alarmed by carpal tunnel symptoms at first, because they can start out pretty mildly. The very first sign is often an aching wrist, which may come and go and worsen with activity. Over time, this ache will grow more intense and further reaching as it extends into your first two fingers and thumb of the affected hand. Meanwhile, you may also notice numbness or a tingling sensation. These sensations can also spread up your arm and may start affecting your ability to grip objects.

Signs of advanced carpal tunnel syndrome

Left unmanaged, carpal tunnel symptoms will gradually make daily tasks more difficult as the pain and tingling increase, both in severity and frequency. The aches in your wrists and beyond may become so severe that they wake you frequently and keep you from sleeping. In the most severe cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can keep you from being able to use the affected arm much at all. These symptoms can also take an emotional toll, prompting stress and low moods.

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Once you’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, your provider at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will recommend a customized treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your treatment plan may include:

If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve sufficiently from conservative treatments, we may recommend carpal tunnel surgery. This procedure relieves pressure by cutting the ligament that’s pressing on your median nerve. Waiting too long for treatment can exacerbate your symptoms significantly, so be sure to seek care as soon as possible.

To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and treatments, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website.

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