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Do You Really Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

By Sara Butler

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a familiar term to many people. In fact, you probably know someone who has suffered from it, since it may be a very painful condition, limiting activities people once enjoyed. It can have a big impact on the lives of anyone, regardless of sex or age, but women are more likely to be affected by it than men. If you’ve felt a tingling in your wrist or hands or experience pain, how do you know if you really have CTS?

What Causes CTS?

CTS occurs when the nerve that runs through the wrist into the hand, called the median nerve, is compressed in the wrist. The median nerve also happens to travel from the neck, over the shoulder, through the elbow and forearm, and to the wrist and hand. The compression of the median nerve anywhere along this path can lead to symptoms of CTS such as:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pain in the hand, fingers, or thumbs

If the compression of the nerve is significant enough, then weakness can occur as well. This is why, if you suspect you have CTS, you should get an examination by a healthcare professional such as a chiropractor as soon as possible; they can check for nerve impingements anywhere along the nerve.

Other Conditions Causing Pain in the Hand

Compression of the median nerve in the arm and hand isn’t the only cause of CTS-like symptoms in the hand. A few common conditions that often have the same symptoms as CTS include:

  • Ulnar neuropathy – The ulnar nerve runs down the arm too, and if it becomes pinched, then numbness and tingling can occur. The only difference is that these symptoms occur on the pinky side of the hand instead of the thumb side as in CTS.
  • Tendonitis – There are nine tendons in the wrist that pass through the carpal tunnel. They make it possible for people to grip items or make a fist. There are also five tendons along the back of the hand that helps to open the hand and spread the fingers. If any of these tendons become irritated and inflamed due to injury or overuse, then swelling and pain can occur. Often, these symptoms mimic symptoms of CTS.

The chiropractors at The Joint are trained to diagnose and treat conditions such as CTS, but they can also diagnose conditions that may closely mimic CTS. If you suffer from tingling, pain, or numbness in your hand or wrist, then discuss it with the chiropractors at The Joint today to help you on the road to recovery!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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