All sensations in your body are provided by nerves. These tiny fibers carry messages from the brain and spinal cord to organs, skin and muscles, giving you ability to move, feel cold and warm, digest food, swallow etc.
The median nerve travels through tight passage on the wrist, conducting feelings to the palm side of the thumb and three neighbor fingers (except medial part of the ring finger). It also gives signals to small muscles, which move your thumb.
Sometimes carpal tunnel may become extremely narrow because of inflammation and swelling. That leads to irritation and squeezing of the median nerve. Specialists call it carpal tunnel syndrome.
This disorder affects women more often than men, as we have smaller carpal tunnel area. It's especially frequent problem in pregnant women, who experience fluid retention.
Having certain illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid disease may really boost your risks of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Actually it was found that your workplace may also play a role. Specialists say that repeated movements (overextension) and long-term exposure to vibration have close link with increased hazards of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms usually progress gradually, causing more and more discomfort. Here are the most common signs of this annoying disorder:
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#1. Pins and needles in the fingers – feeling tingling in the thumb, index, middle and/or ring fingers is one of the most common complaints, which can be really unpleasant and severe.
#2. Numbness – most people with carpal tunnel syndrome notice that they don't feel their four fingers (but it’s not about the little one).
#3. Pain in the fingers – it may be difficult to distinguish pain and tingling, which often come together in carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain may even spread out of fingers, affecting your palm and arm.
#4. Burning – some patients describe their feelings like as if they have burnt or scalded their hand.
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#5. Impairment at the night – symptoms usually get worse in night time. Sometimes unusual sensations may become dramatically sharp and interfere with sleep.
#6. Loss of power – weakness in the hand or fingers can make it difficult for you even to hold you cup of tea and other lightweight things.
#7. Stiffness – you may feel your fingers stiff. In fact, this is only subjective sensation. Your doctor can flex your fingers without any problem. Real rigidity during passive flexion is commonly a sign of other disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, dystonia and systemic sclerosis.
#8. Feeling cold or hot in the hand – your fingers may be felt too cold or too hot, even though no significant changes are found during thermography.
#9. Swelling – some carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers say that they feel their fingers extremely swollen and large. However doctors commonly don't find any enlargement in the digits or hand during examination. The reason is maybe about misinterpretation of the numbness and tingling.
#10. Twitching – some of patients complain of abrupt shock-like sensations and twitching in the palm and fingers, which becomes worse, when you hold your phone or newspaper.
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