Spotting the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is the bony passageway located in the wrist at the base of the hand. The median nerve extends through the carpal tunnel and branches out into the hand, where it’s responsible for allowing sensation and movement. When there isn’t enough room in the carpal tunnel, the nerve gets compressed, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients who experience possible symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can visit a physiatrist for nerve testing. The physiatrist can coordinate care with other specialists, which may include a physical therapist and chiropractor.
Initial Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Like many chronic conditions, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually begin gradually and become progressively more severe if left untreated. The symptoms can cause discomfort in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, as well as the wrist and palm of the hand. The pinky finger is not affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, and the ring finger usually isn’t. At first, patients will notice a tingling sensation or numbness in these areas. Some people might describe the sensations as feeling like:
- Pins and needles
- Swelling (although no actual swelling is present)
People with the pins and needles sensation may feel the need to shake out the hand in an attempt to restore normal feeling. Patients can progress from general discomfort and odd sensations to pain in the area.
Advanced Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If the condition is left untreated and the cause of it isn’t corrected, the symptoms will continue to progress. Eventually, the patient will notice weakness in the hand, wrist, and fingers. Poor grip strength will develop, since the pinching muscles in the thumb become weaker. This typically causes patients to drop objects frequently. The pain will also continue to grow worse, and may eventually become debilitating.
If you’ve been experiencing possible symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can get the care you need at Manhattan Total Health. We provide everything from diagnostics to personalized treatment to follow-up care. Call (917) 720-2689 to inquire about our chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture available in New York, NY.