Have you been having tingling and the feeling of pins and needles or numbness and pain in your hand? If so, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common complaint that involves inflammation of the Median Nerve that goes to the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Problems on the pinky side of the hand are likely NOT carpal tunnel syndrome.
This nerve can become inflamed or entrapped anywhere between your neck and wrist. In addition, bundles of nerves and blood vessels can be impinged at other areas, such as around the collar bone (clavicle) and chest muscles (pectoralis minor)- conditions typically diagnosed as ‘thoracic outlet syndrome’ rather than carpal tunnel syndrome.
CTS has become a “catch-all” diagnosis for any numbness or tingling in the hand. An EMG may be performed in an attempt to locate nerve damage, but it rarely tells why the damage is occurring! Typical medical treatment involves anti-inflammatory medication or injections, bracing, and exercises for stretching the wrist. In persistent cases surgery may be recommended. Some patients respond well to surgery; yet many continue to lose strength after the procedure, and it’s not uncommon for symptoms (pain and/or tingling) to return. This is usually because the cause(s) of the pain and numbness problem wasn’t properly evaluated and treated. A thorough evaluation of the of the spine, arm and hand are essential for this.