When finger numbness is bothering you, maybe it’s time to see a doctor about the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a neuropathic condition in which the median nerve that runs through the wrist is compressed, usually caused by repetitive use of the hands, wrists, and fingers. People who use their hands a lot at work are at greatest risk for developing the condition. There are also various medical issues that can cause carpal tunnel like obesity, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, gout, arthritis, diabetes, and trauma. The condition causes tingling or numbness of the wrist, hand and fingers. In some cases, it can inflict pain in the hand and sometimes shoot up the forearm. More serious cases include the loss of movement in the fingers and the inability to grip objects.
The condition is treatable by following doctor’s orders, which will typically begin with ice, NSAIDs, a wrist brace, and/or rest from repetitive activities. If the condition persists, patients may receive corticosteroid injections to the wrist or pills of the same nature. In rare instances, the median nerve might become even more constricted, despite the treatments. In this circumstance, to avoid the chance of damage to the nerve or muscles in the wrist and hands, doctors may recommend a carpal tunnel release, a surgical procedure that severs the band of tissue surrounding the nerve, releasing the pressure. While this usually requires some physical therapy or rehabilitation, patients usually find relief of the symptoms, and rarely are recurring treatments necessary.
To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from becoming worse, it is recommended that you redesign your work stations, tools, and the job itself. Raising a computer chair and repositioning a keyboard or using a screwdriver that is designed to not bend the wrist might help eliminate awkward movements. A proper amount of rest is also a good remedy. Allowing the wrist to have time off from its daily movement might aid in its repair. It is also recommended to sleep with a wrist brace on and wear it throughout the day, whenever possible, to keep the wrist in proper alignment.