More often than not, a tingling, burning sensation accompanied by numbness in your hand is usually a signifier of carpal tunnel syndrome. These symptoms may worsen during the night due to your sleeping position. Carpal Tunnel is generally brought about when the median nerve is compressed when it experiences a certain amount of pressure.
When these symptoms start to show in your body, they will feel like a nuisance. At this point, it is almost easy for you to ignore the lack of comfort and label it as an ‘annoying pain that will just go away.’ Shaking it off might work for some time. However, the longer you let it stew, the worse it gets for you.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also called Median Nerve Compression, is a condition that affects the median nerve in your hands. It often results from pressure or irritation on the nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. The median nerve naturally runs through the length of your arm. It is responsible for various functions, including the ability to feel a sensation in your thumb and movement of all your fingers except the pinky.
When this nerve is affected, these functions are impaired. Over time as the symptoms get worse, you may experience difficulty gripping objects and show less coordination with increased muscle cramps. If left untreated, these symptoms could exacerbate to the point of nerve damage. This is why tackling the condition early on is advisable by visiting your doctor when you experience any symptoms. Treating this condition before it gets worse will also help your chances of making a complete recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Every individual experiences symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome differently. However, there are some commonly shared experiences among all patients. These include the following:
- Burning Sensation– This is mostly experienced in the fingers whose movements are controlled by the median nerve. They are the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
- Pain in the Affected Hand– The pain is generally felt in the thumb and index fingers. It extends throughout the whole hand and can even go up to the wrist and forearm. In some severe cases, the pain can be felt past the elbow to the shoulders.
- Numbness– Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause wasting of the muscles around your hand. The muscles at the base of your thumb are particularly susceptible to this. A numb hand can also not detect temperature differences, e.g., hot and cold.
- Tingling and Shock-Like Sensations– Most victims of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome liken the tingling sensations to the feeling of ‘pins and needles’ in your hand. Others describe the shocks as sudden jolts traveling from your wrist to your arm.
Most of these symptoms are mainly experienced at night, especially when asleep. This is because your hand is bent during that time, which places extra pressure on your Median nerve. During the day, the pain can be filled when you engage in an exercise that involves folding your hands, such as holding a cup, driving, making a fist, or pinching.
When To See a Doctor
The best time to walk into a doctor’s office would be when the pain in your hand(s) starts to interfere with your daily activities. There are several treatment options available, with the last result being surgery. In most cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be resolved with treatment.