Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By Julia Guthart CHT
What are the Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
If I have numbness and tingling in my fingers, do I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The most common sign or symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is the hand “falling asleep” at night while sleeping. Additional symptoms include tingling or numbness in thumb and index and long fingers—it can be some combination of these fingers or just one finger or thumb. A less common symptom is pain in the palm and wrist but no injury to cause the pain. Also, if you are dropping objects, bumping yourself or burning your fingers due to loss of sensation, you may be experiencing symptoms of Carpal Tunnel.
What can I do about it?
Home remedies include taking over the counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and Naprosyn according to package dosage. Go to your physician if you are still not experiencing relief after a week or two of regularly ingesting either of these (NEVER BOTH AT THE SAME TIME). Also, wearing a wrist support splint that keeps your wrist from bending can relieve symptoms. These splints can be purchased at discount stores, pharmacies, grocery stores or online. They resemble a “bowling splint”.
Sometimes these symptoms are transient meaning that they come and go; and sometimes these symptoms become chronic meaning have never gone away. If you experience symptoms for more than 3 weeks after you have tried some of the home remedies and continue to experience the numbness and tingling, you should seek medical evaluation. Other diseases can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities and need to be ruled out by your MD.
Specialized hand therapy is helpful after a Carpal Tunnel release has been performed (surgery). Prior to surgery, an Occupational Therapist or Certified Hand Therapist can be very helpful with acquiring the correct splint and teaching stretching exercises. At present, an exercise program alone can not prevent or cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.