Every morning, Cindy would wake up with excruciating cramps in the palms of her hand. Her thumb, index, and middle fingers would feel stiff and tingly. She felt like she needed to shake out her hand. After breathing deeply for a few agonizing minutes, the pain would pass. After a while, the pain happened so often it would wake up at night. “It is very likely that you have a carpal tunnel,” her doctor told her when she booked a medical appointment.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? How to know if, like Cindy, you have carpal tunnel?
If you can answer yes to some of these questions, then you may have this condition:
– Do you feel a sensation of pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the palm and the thumb, index, and middle fingers of your hand?
– Does it worsen at night?
– Do you feel a need to shake out your hand?
– Is it difficult to turn keys, form a fist, type, or perform other tasks that require you to flex your wrist, palm or fingers?
– Does your small finger feel fine?
– Do you find that you are dropping things more often?
– Are you obese or pregnant or do you suffer from diabetes, hypothyroidism, or arthritis? These conditions can cause you to develop this condition.
– When you touch objects, do you have trouble telling the difference between hot and cold?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the meridian nerve – which runs from your forearm to the ends of your thumb, index, and middle fingers and passes through a narrow space in your wrist – becomes compressed. The narrow space in your wrist is called the carpal tunnel; it is a band of muscle and ligaments. The pressure on the meridian nerve inside the carpal tunnel is what causes the feeling of pain, tingling, weakness, and numbness.
To know for sure that you have carpal tunnel, you need to visit a licensed health-care professional. Your health-care professional will ask you numerous questions about your symptoms. They will probably perform a number of tests to rule out other conditions, will watch how you move your wrists, check your wrists' structure, and measure the rate of electrical impulses sent by your meridian nerve as it passes through your wrist. All these questions and examinations will help the doctor to know if you have carpal tunnel.