A Passing Cramp or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Q&A with an Occupational Therapist
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the tingling/numbness/weakness that occurs in your hand and wrist when the median nerve is compressed. The Transverse Carpal Ligament is located within the wrist and is the ligament that holds the tendons and nerve in place. While the median nerve controls the thumb, index, and long finger strength and feeling/sensation.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and long fingers, pain, waking in the night, decreased strength, dropping objects, difficulty opening jars/objects, brushing hair, holding utensils and using tools.
How is Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is generally diagnosed during a physician visit. Your physician will review your patient history, conduct a physical exam, examine the strength in both hands, and sometimes will order an X-ray or EMG.
What Does Conservative Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Involve?
Conservative treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome includes patient education, splints to keep the wrists in neutral (for sleeping), ergonomic education and finger exercises to glide all the tendons individually.
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome described above, please discuss with your primary care physician. You will need a physician referral to receive therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome.