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Know The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


It’ll probably creep up on you slowly.  There’ll be a vague aching feeling in your wrist that eventually affects your hand or even your forearm.  As the disorder progresses, you may notice other symptoms as well.


Your fingers may tingle or you may experience numbness in your fingers or your hand.  Those digits most affected are the thumb, the index and the middle or ring fingers.  You “pinky” finger is seldom affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. These symptoms are most noticeable when you first 

awake in the morning.  Some people need to “shake out” their hands to relieve the symptoms. Others notice these symptoms while they are holding a phone, a newspaper or even while driving a car.


Another indication of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain that radiates or extends from your wrist up your arm to your shoulder or from your wrist into your palm and your fingers.  You’ll notice these symptoms shortly after – or even during – forceful or repetitive use.  This pain usually occurs on the palm side of your forearm.


If you notice a weakness in your hands as well as a tendency to drop objects, then this is an indication that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. If you feel a persistent loss of feeling in some of your fingers, you may have an advanced case of this disorder.


Are at risk?


You very well could be if you perform a job that requires repetition or if your occupation requires the use of awkward or stressed hand motions.  Those individuals who use power tools, therefore, may find that they are at a greater risk than the average person.  So are individuals who do assembly line work. But even repetitive computer use can trigger a painful case of carpal tunnel syndrome for some people.


Beyond this, there are several other risk factors that may raise your chances of developing this syndrome.  If you’re female, for example, you’re three times as likely to develop problems with your carpal tunnel. Interestingly, this risk peaks until a woman reaches menopause. Then the roles seem to be reversed.  When a man reaches middle age, he seems to be more vulnerable to the problem.


Do you have any close relatives who have experienced this problem?  If you do, consider yourself at risk.  Inherited physical characteristics may be at the cause of this, like the shape of your wrist.


If you’re already affected with diabetes, obesity, or some thyroid problems, then you may find that your chances are greater than average for developing this problem.  Even if you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may find yourself more susceptible to carpal tunnel problems. 


The common thread for all of these lies in hormonal changes.  So it’s natural to note that pregnant women, those taking oral contraceptives or those women experiencing menopause may also face a greater risk of developing this painful disease.


Interestingly, individuals who smoke and develop carpal tunnel not only experience symptoms that are more severe than the average person, but recovery more slowly than the nonsmoker.


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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