Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms vary from patient to patient, but they mainly occur in the hand most frequently used. Since we use our hands more often than we may realize, it’s not uncommon to develop Carpal Tunnel in both hands. Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are the following:
• Hand, forearm, or wrist numbness and/or pain
• A tingling, or “pins-and-needles,” sensation. This feeling is often referred to as “falling asleep.”
• Numbness or pain that gets worse when you grip an object with your hand or bend (flex) your wrist.
• Sporadic aching pain in your forearm.
• Stiffness in your wrist, hand, and fingers in the morning, or after long periods of idle time.
Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it may be difficult to:
• Perform simple hand movements, including holding a spoon, your keys or even brushing your teeth.
• Pinch an object between your thumb and index finger.
• Using a doorknob or opening a jar, anything that requires use of your thumb. Prolonged Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause the deterioration of the thumb muscles, causing them to shrink and get weaker.
If you have mild symptoms, such as occasional tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in your fingers or hand, rest your fingers, hand, and wrist. Stop activities that you think may be causing numbness and pain. When your symptoms improve, resume the activity gradually. As you do, keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent. Ice your wrist for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, once or twice an hour. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taking to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Wearing a wrist splint at night to keep your wrist in a neutral position may relieve pressure on your median nerve. When your pain is gone, begin exercises for flexibility and strength for your arm and wrist.
Medications for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Medicine may relieve swelling, inflammation, and pain in the wrist or hand related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Reducing swelling in the wrist will relieve pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel and relieve your symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and inflammation and are available with or without a prescription. They work best if your tendon is inflamed. They won’t relieve pressure on the median nerve, but they may make you feel better.
Corticosteroids may be a treatment option when NSAIDs are not effectively at relieve pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids can be taken in pill form or injected into the wrist. Corticosteroids are usually used after nonsurgical treatments (such as rest, ice, splints, or anti-inflammatory medicines) have been tried for several weeks with no improvement. They often provide temporary relief for several weeks or more. Injected corticosteroids usually provide longer-lasting results than those taken by mouth (oral). But oral or injected medicines rarely provide permanent relief from carpal tunnel symptoms.
If your pain persists, contact Florida Pain Medicine for a consultation. Treatment can help provide relief and decrease pain. Our pain specialist at Florida Pain Medicine can address your individual needs to help you get and keep moving. Contact us today and begin to improve your quality of life.