Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects your hand, weakens your grip, and affects the quality of work and life eventually. It is caused by a compression of the median nerve running from the forearm through the wrist and hand. People who engage in repetitive activities with their hands are more prone to the condition. If you are a PC worker, typist, artist, or hairdresser, your risk for developing the syndrome runs high. It is crucial to look for early signs and address the condition before it aggravates beyond repair. Here are the telltale signs of carpal tunnel syndrome that warrant a visit to a specialist.
Tingling or numbness
The earliest sign of the problem appears in the form of tingling and numbness sensation in your fingers or hand. The index, middle, or ring fingers, and the thumb are often affected more by the nerve compression, so you will probably not feel the sensation in the little finger. It can even travel from the hand to your wrist and up your arm. You may experience the feeling while holding a phone, steering wheel, or newspaper. It may even wake you from sleep. Ideally, you should see a doctor at the earliest.
The numbness in your hand may eventually cause weakness. You may end up dropping objects and losing control over your grip. Eventually, your ability to work gets affected. It happens when the pinching muscles in your thumb become weak. These muscles are connected with the median nerve, so this sign indicates that the condition is aggravated. So the sooner you seek medical help, the better it is.
Pain and cramps
Pain and cramps are other telltale signs you should not ignore as they indicate the worsening of the problem. You must see a carpal tunnel specialist if you experience shooting or burning pain along the hand, wrist, or forearm. Muscle cramps in these areas are also a reason to worry. Look for an early diagnosis and treatment plan to resolve the problem before it affects your work.
Another early warning sign you should take seriously is an itchy feeling in your palms or fingertips. Irritation in the median nerve causes itchiness, and nothing seems to help. Most people consider itching a skin-related problem and fail to associate it with carpal tunnel syndrome. But you must see a doctor to rule out the condition if itching occurs along with other symptoms.
Difficulty in sleeping
Surprisingly, carpal tunnel syndrome can ruin your sleep too as its symptoms become more prominent when resting. If you keep your wrists slightly flexed while sleeping, symptoms like numbness, tingling, or burning can surface. You can lose your sleep due to pain or discomfort, and it may affect your overall health in the long run. Seeing a doctor is the best option to restore your sleep and resolve the carpal tunnel concern.
Watch out for these early signs and get help as soon as possible. You can save yourself from a great deal of trouble. If you let the problem persist, it can be hard to handle daily tasks, and your work can suffer as well.