Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Brain & Spine Specialists

Neurologists & Neurosurgeons located in Panama City, FL

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects 3-6% of all adults, but women are three times more likely to develop the problem than men. The team at Brain & Spine Specialists encourages you to come in for an examination at the first sign of a painful wrist since carpal tunnel syndrome can affect your hand strength and limit its function when left untreated. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Panama City, Florida, that’s most convenient for you or use the online booking feature.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Q&A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve, the median nerve, is pinched as it travels through your wrist. The median nerve runs down your arm and into your hand. To get through your wrist, it goes through a rigid narrow space called the carpal tunnel.

The nerve shares the carpal tunnel with tendons. When any of the tendons become inflamed, or you suffer a wrist injury, they press against the nerve inside the tunnel. As a result, you develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

You may have a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome because you were born with a smaller-than-normal wrist. Most cases, however, are caused by:

Repetitive use

When you repeatedly perform the same movement with your hands and fingers, the tendons suffer from overuse and become inflamed.

Wrist flexion

When you bend your wrist, the motion places increased pressure on the nerve. If you engage in activities that require bending your wrist in either direction for a long time, you’re likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wrist injuries

A wrist injury that aggravates and inflames the soft tissues or that affects space in the tunnel can lead to a pinched median nerve.

Health conditions and hormonal changes

Arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may all raise your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.

What symptoms develop due to carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome develops gradually, so your symptoms are mild or barely noticeable at first. As the condition worsens, you’ll begin to experience one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Wrist pain
  • Hand weakness
  • Burning, tingling, or itchy numbness in your palm or fingers
  • Dropping things due to hand weakness or numbness
  • Feeling that your fingers are swollen even though they’re not

Tingling sensations may radiate from your wrist to your thumb, index, and middle fingers.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

In addition to relieving your pain, it’s important to get treatment at Brain & Spine Specialists because the nerve can become permanently damaged. When your nerve doesn’t work properly, hand muscles can deteriorate.

While it’s still in an early stage, carpal tunnel responds well to treatments such as:

  • Immobilizing your wrist
  • Changing your activities
  • Adjusting ergonomics to avoid bending your wrist
  • Taking NSAIDs to relieve inflammation
  • Receiving steroid injections
  • Practicing nerve gliding exercises

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is too advanced, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve.

At the first sign of wrist pain, call Brain & Spine Specialists or book an appointment online.