Wrist pain does not only cause discomfort, but also interferes with our daily tasks – so it can’t simply be ignored. If you do ignore it, it could become worse, even permanently debilitating.
One of the most common causes of wrist pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. When the hand pain or wrist pain becomes worse or includes weakness or tingling, this may be the reason behind it.
Let’s talk about what carpal tunnel syndrome is, how it differs from similar hand conditions, and where you can go throughout North Dakota for outstanding orthopedic care.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and wrist condition that is caused by nerve compression, or a type of pinched nerve. The median nerve, which runs through the arm to the fingers (except the pinkie), is responsible for sensory and motor functions of the hand. When this nerve is compressed inside the tunnel in the wrist, this is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms include numbness, weakness, and pain in the wrist and hand area. You may have difficulty gripping things, and you may accidentally drop objects. The pain is sometimes akin to an electric shock that can radiate up the forearm. In severe cases, the sensation of pins and needles may become constant. You might also get the feeling of having swollen fingers.
Because the pinkie is served by the ulnar nerve, rather than the median nerve, then pain or numbness that also affects the pinkie likely indicates something other than carpal tunnel syndrome.
Am I Likely to Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often due to repetitive hand motions, such as frequent grasping or typing without adequate support for your wrists. Plus, there are specific groups of people who tend to be more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome than others – these include:
- People with smaller wrists
- People with bone or joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
- People who have issues with hormonal, metabolic, or blood sugar levels
- Pregnant women
How Do I Know if My Wrist Pain Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The only way to confirm whether you have carpal tunnel syndrome is to consult an orthopedic doctor. Other wrist and hand injuries also present similar symptoms, so a doctor will know how to distinguish and diagnose your condition so that it can be properly treated.
Wrist Pain Treatment in North Dakota
When treatment such as resting the aching hand and wrist, applying ice or heat therapy, and pain medications are not enough, it is time to visit a skilled orthopedic doctor. The Bone & Joint Center is the largest private orthopedic medical and surgical practice in North Dakota, and we have convenient locations all over the state. Visit us in Bismarck, Dickinson, Beulah, Garrison, Hazen, Linton, Hettinger, Minot, Turtle Lake, Williston, and Wishek.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. Let our hand and wrist specialists help you return to a pain-free and active lifestyle!