Carpal tunnel or not carpal tunnel - how do you measure up?
Carpal tunnel can be very painful, creating numbness, burning, tingling in the hand (not in the small finger). Loss of grip strength and a heavy swollen feeling in the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the narrowing of the bony passageway which compresses the median nerve.
The main symptoms are in the thumb, index finger and or middle finger, and often the the pain will wake you at night.
The pain can often worsen at night as we tuck our hands in or curl them up - placing pressure on the median nerve.
As the problem continues than pain is experienced during the day, usually when the wrist is bent up or down, such as holding your phone or driving.
Other symptoms can include the sensation of swollen fingers, pain travelling up to the shoulder or small shocks in the thumb and fingers.
Over time your grip will be affected, you may start to drop things and have trouble with small items, (like holding your cup of tea).
At the severe ends of symptoms it may even affect your ability to register temperature changes from hot to cold and muscle atrophy to the base of the thumb.
But....... not all wrist / hand pain is Carpal Tunnel.
Pain, tingling and numbness are also symptoms of other problems such as arthritis, fractures, cervical compression and de Quervain tenosynovitis.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain is usually in the knuckles on the hands and joints of the wrist and typically is felt in both hands.
Cervical radiculopathy is the tingling and pain caused by an issue in the spine. The nerves that run to the hands come from the neck, and if there is irritation of these nerves then it can be felt in the hands and it can be felt in different part of the hands depending on the origin of the irritation.
De Quervain tenosynovitis is a problem with the tendons that control your thumb. It hurts to turn your wrist, make a fist, or try to grasp an object. This condition is on the increase due to mobile phones. However the pain is in the thumb and near the wrist, it does not affect the other fingers.
So what are some of the common tests for Carpal tunnel? - the Tinel Sign is one of them.
Your doctor will tap on the median nerve with a reflex hammer if you feel a shock the test is positive.
The Phalen’s Maneuver is another test and is a wrist flexion test. You can press the back of your hands and fingers together, have your fingers pointing down hold this position for 1-2 minutes and if your fingers tingle or go numb this is a positive sign for carpal tunnel.
How we can Help?
Acupuncture, massage and (adjusting the joints) combined will help with carpal tunnel pain. Acupuncture can help increase blood flow to the affected area and help release tension in the muscles around the carpal tunnel while elevating pain.
Remedial Massage will help release muscle tension that builds up from carpal tunnel.
Call us today on 5310 6259 to book an appointment or book online here.