Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is extreme pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is the nerve in your wrist that allows for movement and feeling. When there is pressure on this nerve it causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are many symptoms of carpal tunnel that patients may experience. If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome and experience any of these you should seek a medical opinion to determine further actions.
Numbness, Pain, Tingling
Three of the first ten common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness, pain, and tingling in the hands, wrist, or forearm.
Numbness and pain in these regions are usually intense. The pain is uncomfortable and causes a disruption in everyday activities. The pain often keeps one awake at night, and can even awake one from a deep sleep.
There can often be stiffness in your hand in the morning. This can sometimes make simple activities such as gripping a toothbrush more difficult.
The numbness and pain can get progressively worse over time. For example, your thumb muscles will get weaker. It will become difficult to open a can of hold a screwdriver.
Tingling is also often felt with carpal tunnel syndrome. The tingling is often described as a “pins and needles” feeling throughout the hands, wrists, and forearm.
Loss of Muscle Strength
A common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is the loss of muscle strength in your wrist, hand, and fingers. As the pain progresses so does the muscle pain.
Your fingers, primarily your thumb loses muscle strength. Activities that involve your thumb become harder to accomplish.
Because your thumb one of the more important fingers for accomplishing tasks this becomes a more difficult adjustment.
With the pain and muscles loss in your thumb opening cans and gripping objects become more difficult, even sometimes impossible.
Another common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is random dropping of objects for no apparent reason.
Due to the muscles weakening and compression of the nerve you may find combing your hair or holding a fork becomes difficult and results in accidentally dropping objects.
While your fingers do not look swollen with carpal tunnel syndrome a symptom of the syndrome is that they may feel that way.
Often patients report that their fingers feel as if they are swollen and useless. Your fingers will not appear to be swollen but rather just feel as if they are.
Hot or Cold?
Another symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is the inability to differentiate between hot and cold objects. As the carpal tunnel progresses patients sometimes have trouble feeling the temperature of certain objects.
If you are experiencing this symptom be careful to touch objects that can burn your skin without your knowledge. Be sure to seek medical attention right away.
Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome often report about a burning feeling in their hands. The burning feeling is a result of the carpal tunnel and comes at times when one is usually sleeping or the hand is resting.
The burning feeling is often felt around the thumb and two fingers directly next to it. When one feels a burning sensation they also feel the “pins and needles” sensation as well.
Another common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is an itching feeling in the hand. The itching feeling can also be felt in the thumb and surrounding two fingers.
The itching sensation often comes with the numbness sensation that other patients report feeling as a result of the compression of the median nerve. The itching feeling is often subtle, but noticeable.
Lastly, the tenth common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is a feeling that the hand has “fallen asleep.” Patients often report a need to shake their hand to “awaken” it. This feeling often occurs in the morning time.
After a night of rest, one feels their hand needs to be awake. The hand itself is not asleep, but the compression of the nerve causes one to feel as if the hand is asleep. Shaking of the hand will not help awaken it, but rather do nothing.
These symptoms often occur in patients who have carpal tunnel syndrome. Just because you are not experiencing all ten of these symptoms does not mean you may not have carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are experiencing these symptoms seek medical help to determine a proper diagnosis to be sure.