Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that is mostly seen in adults, and more women seem to be affected by it than men. The carpal tunnel is an area in your wrist where the median nerve enters your hand. This nerve supplies feelings and movements to your fingers, and if there is a swelling or irritation in this nerve, it can lead to a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is very narrow and any swelling in this area can pinch the median nerve, leading to a lot of pain and discomfort.
It is believed that repetitive movements of the wrist and using vibrating hand tools generally trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people may be born with a narrower than normal carpal tunnel and may develop this syndrome. Other factors such as alcohol abuse, tumor in the wrist, bone fractures, infections, and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Given here are some of the commonly observed symptoms.
Main Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are generally tingling or pins and needles sensations that appear in the thumb and fingers of the affected hand. This sensation may even spread beyond this area, and seems to appear mostly at night in the initial stages. It is an unpleasant sensation, and may cause a kind of mild pain.
Another commonly observed symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is a sense of weakness in the affected hand. People may experience a loss of grip and drop objects due to clumsiness. This results from a loss of fine motor skills in the hands. It makes it difficult to hold small objects in the hands and the grip becomes weaker, resulting in many breakages.
Tingling causes increased sensation, whereas in this case there is a loss of sensation. Generally numbness and loss of sensation is felt in the thumb and fingers, but some people might experience loss of sensation in areas beyond this region.
Complete numbness is mostly not observed; it is a slight loss of sensation. If the nerve damage is too bad due to carpal tunnel syndrome, the loss of sensation can be quite severe and lead to injuries like burns.
Depending upon the severity of the nerve damage, a person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome may experience pain in the wrist that may extend up towards the shoulders, or may radiate towards the palm and fingers. This is especially noticed after doing a repetitive activity or using force with the affected hand.
A person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome feels that the hand is swollen and the fingers feel thick with swelling. Often, this feeling occurs due to the sensation of numbness.
In some cases, a mild swelling may be there due to deformities of the hand joints or other factors. Often, a slight swelling in the area just above the wrist of the affected hand is a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.
A very commonly observed symptom of slightly advanced stages of carpal tunnel syndrome is the thinning of muscles near the base of the affected thumb. One can recognize this symptom just by looking at the base of the thumb, which appears thinner and weaker due to wasting of muscles in the area. Sometimes, this could also be due to joint diseases.