The wrist contains a narrow structure called the carpal tunnel.
In this tunnel is the median nerve that controls feeling inside the palm of your hand, and flexor tendons that enable you to bend your fingers and thumb. When the tissues around the flexor tendons swell, they compress the space in the tunnel, crowd the median nerve and result in painful symptoms.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop for a wide range of reasons. Some of the most common ones include:
Some families carry a genetic trait for a naturally smaller carpal tunnel, which increases the likelihood of suffering from this condition.
Regular and repetitive use of your hand over time can cause carpal tunnel syndrome to develop.
In some women, hormonal changes during pregnancy trigger carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is seen much more frequently in older individuals.
Certain medical conditions
Certain conditions increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease.
Symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome tend to begin gradually and become more severe over time. In the beginning, they may be intermittent, but as the condition progresses, your symptoms will likely become constant. When this occurs, you may experience:
- Hand, forearm or wrist pain
- Tingling or a “pins-and-needles” sensation
- A dull ache in your forearm
- Weakening thumb muscles
- Stiff fingers
In addition, it will be increasingly difficult to perform simple hand movements, and you may find that you’re dropping objects more frequently.
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed during a fairly quick physical examination. To begin, we’ll collect information about your symptoms – including when they first appeared, how long they’ve endured and when they seem to worsen or improve.
From there, we’ll examine your hand and wrist to look for signs of the condition. For example, we’ll press or tap the median nerve, bend and hold your wrist in a variety of positions and check for weakness around the base of your thumb. The results of these tests will let us know definitively whether or not carpal tunnel syndrome is causing your symptoms, so we can compose an appropriate treatment plan.
Regenerative treatment for your carpal tunnel syndrome
Traditionally, carpal tunnel syndrome is treated with splinting, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory medication and, in the most severe cases, endoscopic or open surgery. However, all of these treatment approaches have their drawbacks. The conservative measures offer a temporary solution that may not be effective for all patients, and invasive surgery comes with a number of risks and a lengthy recovery period.
Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome often responds well to minimally invasive non-surgical treatment we provide, utilizing ultrasound to visualize and guide the needle and release scar tissue. Additionally, using this technology frequently results in a more pleasant patient experience by dynamically & precisely visualizing an acupuncture-like needle while avoiding painful structures including nerve, blood vessels, tendons and bone. During your initial consultation with our office, we will discuss these approaches with you, before composing a custom treatment plan that we believe will most effectively and efficiently heal your injury.