Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The carpal tunnel is a passageway on the palm side of your hand and is surrounded by bones and ligaments. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. People with arthritis, diabetes, or people who have had wrist injuries may be more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region has carpal tunnel doctors nearby in seven locations who can accurately diagnose and effectively treat your CTS so you can return to your activities pain-free.

Common Symptoms of CTS

Carpal tunnel syndrome typically causes pain, numbness, and weakness in your hand and wrist. Some of the most common symptoms of CTS include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers
  • Pain in the wrist or hand that may radiate up the arm
  • Weakness in the hand or a tendency to drop things
  • A feeling of swelling in the fingers, even when they appear normal
  • Loss of sensation or strength in the hand or fingers

Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It is important to understand what is causing your carpal tunnel syndrome in order to get the best treatment. CTS can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Prior Injury to the wrist or hand
  • Arthritis or other joint problems
  • Pregnancy or hormonal changes
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Advanced age

At-Home Treatments for CTS

If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, there are several at-home treatments you can try that may help relieve carpal tunnel pain, including:

  • Take frequent breaks from aggravating activities
  • Stretch your hands and wrists
  • Wear a wrist splint at night to keep your wrist in a neutral position and alleviate pressure on the median nerve
  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to reduce pain and inflammation

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If your symptoms persist or worsen after trying at-home treatments, it is a good time to see a carpal tunnel doctor near you. Some symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Severe pain in the wrist or hand
  • Loss of sensation or strength in the hand or fingers
  • Changes in the color or temperature of the hands or fingers

To diagnose your condition, your doctor will perform a carpal tunnel physical exam. We will ask about your symptoms, activities, and medical history. We may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to rule out other conditions. In some cases, we may perform a nerve conduction study, which measures how quickly electrical signals travel through the median nerve.

Medical Treatments for CTS

Doctors treating CTS have several options for alleviating the pain. We may use corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Carpal tunnel physical therapy often helps improve strength and flexibility in the hand and wrist. If all noninvasive, conservative treatments do not provide pain relief from carpal tunnel, surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure on the nerve.

EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region carpal tunnel doctors are nearby to help you diagnose, manage, and relieve your pain and dysfunction. Schedule an appointment here, so we will help you Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

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