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Carpal tunnel syndrome feels like numbness, weakness, pain and tingling in the wrist, hand and fingers. It’s caused by pinching or pressure on the median nerve as it runs through a tunnel of bone, ligaments and tendons in the wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms often occur from the thumb to the ring finger. Symptoms tend to come on while using tools that vibrate or require repetitive gripping. Symptoms also can flare up at night, causing some patients to wake up with numbness and tingling in the hands.
Often the cause of the pinching on the median nerve is unknown.
Carpal tunnel treatments include over-the-counter pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy exercises and bracing. In severe cases with nerve damage, sometimes after years without treatment, surgery is required to relieve symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions treated by arm and hand medical providers.
The Norton Louisville Arm & Hand specialists have offices in downtown Louisville, St. Matthews and on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus, with appointments often available within a week — sometimes the same day. Our fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians have the experience and expertise to know when conservative treatment approaches can help and when surgery will be the only potential source of relief.
Carpal tunnel symptoms usually are felt in the forearm and hand along the median nerve path. Symptoms include:
Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome early is key to preventing deterioration that can lead to more severe symptoms and possibly require surgery. Delaying or avoiding treatment can result in permanent nerve damage. Ways to relieve early mild symptoms include:
See your health care provider if you have signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that interfere with your normal activities and sleep.
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