You may not be aware of it, but your wrists can get strained from the pressure of using your hands all day every day. Our hands get all the credit, but the wrists do a lot of the work.
Repetitive hand motions, and even underlying health conditions, can cause internal pressure that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome – which causes wrist pain and hand weakness. Let’s talk about what carpal tunnel syndrome is, its symptoms and risk factors, and where you can go across North Dakota for treatment that works to heal this debilitating hand and wrist condition.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is the passageway through your tiny wrist bones (the “carpal bones”) where your median nerve resides between your arm and your hand. The median nerve serves for sensation and movement capability to your wrist, palm, and four of your fingers, including the:
- Index finger
- Middle finger
- Half of your ring finger
(The ulnar nerve serves the pinkie and the other half of the ring finger.)
There are several symptoms of this condition, including:
- Wrist pain
- Hand pain and weakness
- Numbness in the hand/wrist area, especially during nighttime
- Tingling in the thumb, index finger, and middle finger
- Difficulty writing, buttoning clothes, and gripping objects
What Are the Risk Factors?
The following characteristics may not always directly cause this condition, but they may increase your risk of damaging your median nerve:
If you have suffered a wrist fracture, dislocation, or arthritis, these conditions can affect your carpal tunnel and exert excess pressure on the median nerve. If you inherited small carpal tunnels in your wrists, you are also at risk for this condition. Of course, you would only know whether this is the case after having a medical evaluation by an orthopedic doctor.
Although carpal tunnel syndrome can happen to anyone, this condition is more often experienced by women. Compared to men, women generally have smaller builds and, therefore, smaller wrists.
People who are between the ages of 30 and 60 are more prone to develop this syndrome.
Certain illnesses and health conditions can increase your risk of nerve damage and compression on your median nerve, thereby leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. These conditions include:
- Thyroid disorders
- Kidney failure
Profession and Workplace Environment
If you work with vibrating tools (such as drills or jackhammers), or if your job requires repetitive or prolonged flexing of your wrist, you may be at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These factors may cause harmful pressure on your median nerve. Also, if you work in a cold environment, you may be at increased risk of related wrist pain and hand pain.
Wrist Pain Treatment in Bismarck, North Dakota
Lifting your arms high above your head and purposefully rotating (not shaking) your hands can help to alleviate pressure in the carpal tunnel. However, this doesn’t always solve the underlying issue, especially if your carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by internal pressure on the median nerve.
If your wrist pain is becoming an issue, consult the expertise of an orthopedic doctor. Whether your wrist pain is due to carpal tunnel syndrome or any other condition, the orthopedic surgeons here at The Bone & Joint Center can help you be free of wrist and hand pain. Remember that it’s always best to seek treatment at the early stages of any condition before it becomes worse and possibly develops into a permanent condition.
Have any questions? Would you like to schedule an appointment? Contact us today at (800) 424-2663. We look forward to finding the best solution for your wrist pain!