Tips on Recognizing Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

As one of the most common complaints today, everyone should know and recognize carpal tunnel symptoms in order to avoid more serious problems down the road.

The carpal tunnel is a small vessel at the base of each hand, where the median nerve and tendons are found.  Any swelling or inflammation of the tunnel constricts the nerve, which in turn spasms to results in pain, numbness and weakness of the hands and arms.  People who generally experience carpal tunnel symptoms are those who have their wrists flexed frequently and for extended periods of time, including musicians, grocery store checkers, assembly line workers and those who use computers.  Other activities have also been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome as well.  Doctors disagree on whether repetitive activities themselves are the cause of the disorder; there is evidence to show it may a congenital disorder instead.
Recognizing Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
The first of the carpal tunnel symptoms that may be experienced could very well be ignored, thinking them to be passing coincidences.  Occasional numbness or tingling is often attributed to an arm or hand “falling asleep”; the individual shakes it off and the symptoms disappear.  Temporarily, that is.  Soon, this may occur on a regular and more frequent basis, and the simple act of shaking it off no longer works.  In addition, pain occurs in the forearms; sometimes shooting up to the elbow or beyond.

>Nighttime sleep is often interrupted due to carpal tunnel symptoms in most individuals.  This is a common complaint as most of us tend to sleep with our elbows and hands in bent positions, cutting off circulation and blood flow.  The discomfort of the hand or arm is so extreme that it awakens the sleeper, feeling the need to shake the arm in an attempt to return feeling. More info:

Unfortunately, without being recognized and treated, the carpal tunnel symptoms will worsen.  The pain, numbness and tingling will reoccur at more frequent intervals, the feeling of hot and cold may be lost as will the ability to grasp objects or to form a fist.  In extremely unrelieved cases, the muscles at the bottom of the thumb could waste away with disuse.

There is hope, however, for those who are suffering from carpal tunnel symptoms.  The first step is to recognize the discomfort for what it is, and the second is in prevention and treatment.  Try altering normal behavior that generally causes the pain.  Wearing wrist splints that hold the wrist straight help some individuals, especially in the beginning.  Avoid activities which mean the wrists need to be flexed for any period of time.  Prop up your arm while lying down to keep it in a straightened position.  These measures should alleviate most carpal tunnel symptoms.

Recognizing and knowing which carpal tunnel symptoms you might be experiencing can help you to stop carpal tunnel syndrome in its tracks.  Prevention is key in any medical disorder, so taking steps to alleviate and stop your symptoms may mean you will avoid further complications.

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