What is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel, which is also called median nerve compression, is defined as “a numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist.”  For many, the reason that one experiences this is because of the way in which he/she uses his/her hands, and/or how often. In doing so, one must be careful to take breaks to avoid any problems. One group that this applies to is those who text a lot and/or those who spend a majority of their time typing on their laptop or computer.

One who has this may experience “pain in the hands, wrist, or forearm; hand numbness, sensation of pins and needles, hand clumsiness, hand pain at night, hand weakness, or wrist weakness.” This can create a large amount of discomfort for some making it next to impossible for them to go about their day to day activities because of what they are feeling in their hands and wrists. Fortunately, there are several treatment options which consist of “rest, ice, wrist splints, cortisone injections, and/or surgery.”

But in order for a medical professional to determine whether or not a person has this condition, certain tests have to be run in order to see. One of the ways that the doctor may do this is first through a physical which allows him/her to test the individual’s reflexes, and to see what can – and/or can’t – be felt by the person. This can also help the doctor to record the symptoms that the individual is experiencing so that he/she can better determine what course of action needs to be taken, and/or  determine whether or not carpal tunnel is the underlying cause – or whether it’s something else.

Another way that he might perform a test is by using an X-ray machine that can better assess the damage. This helps rule out all other possible causes such as possible fractures – and/or other diagnoses that don’t fall into the category of carpal tunnel. Another test that can be used, however, if the doctor wants to see how severe things are is through the help of electromyography, which tests the muscles with electrical discharges. 

In conclusion, these are only a few of the several options that are available, but when caught in the early stages, extreme circumstances such as surgery isn’t likely needed. For those who feel as though they are suffering from carpal tunnel, there is always hope when seeking out a medical professional for the best possible diagnosis, as well as treatment(s).

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