Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve problem that affects the fingers, hands, wrists and forearms. It is often associated with repetitive fine-motor activities.
If you have wrist pain that is limiting your ability to work or do the things you love, doctors at Dignity Health offer complete care for carpal tunnel syndrome in Sacramento, CA. For a doctor referral, please call (916) 851-2511.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pressure on the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve passes through a narrow tunnel — the carpal tunnel — in your wrist. Wrist bones border one side and a strong ligament covers the palm side of the wrist. The nerve controls feeling and allows you to move some of the muscles in your hand. Many things can cause the surrounding tissues to become inflamed and press on the median nerve.
The risk of carpal tunnel syndrome is greater in people who:
- Have smaller carpal tunnels, which can run in families
- Frequently perform repetitive tasks with their hands and arms such as typing, playing an instrument, or working with machinery
- Are older
- Are female
- Have certain chronic medical conditions, including thyroid problems, diabetes, kidney failure, and rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers are common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many people notice numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Symptoms usually start slowly. They tend to be worse when you bend your wrists or grip smaller objects like a phone.
Some other common symptoms are:
- Difficulty when writing, using a computer mouse, or holding a mug
- Pain or burning sensation in your fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm
- Weakness in your hand and wrist
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and assess your medical history to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. A physical exam can check your hand and finger sensation, strength, and function. You may also have X-rays and electrodiagnostic tests, including electromyography (EMG) or a nerve conduction study (NCS) to determine your nerve function.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Dignity Health
Early treatment and changes in hand movements can greatly relieve or even stop carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Your doctor may recommend adjustments to repetitive motions and body positioning, medications, a splint or brace, steroid injections, or surgery as treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dignity Health Orthopedics Services of Greater Sacramento offers a variety of treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.