Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and arm. It usually occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — called the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed. In some cases, the pain can go all the way up to the shoulder or be caused by a nerve being pinched in the shoulder or elbow.
Studies have shown that women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. That's because they have smaller wrists and less space for the nerve. Older people are also more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some other factors include:
There are some things you can do on your own to ease your carpal tunnel symptoms, such as:
If these don’t work, you may need to see an orthopedic hand and wrist specialist, who can recommend corticosteroids to lessen your pain and inflammation. They may also recommend injections, which are more effective than steroids. Injections often work well if an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis caused the carpal tunnel syndrome.
If necessary, your orthopedic specialist may recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. The surgeon makes one or two incisions and cuts the ligament involved, which releases the nerve and increases the space around it (the ligament will eventually grow back).
At Greater Austin Orthopaedics, the highly skilled hand and wrist specialists have experience treating carpal tunnel syndrome and can get you on a treatment plan right away. To schedule an appointment, call us or book online.