What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel is when your wrist’s inner tunnel swells and presses on a nerve called the median nerve. This can happen from doing things like typing or using your phone a lot. It makes your hand feel tingly, numb, or painful, sort of like a traffic jam in the wrist tunnel.

Doctors can help by suggesting exercises, changes in hand use, or special tools to get things back to normal and keep your hand feeling better.

What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel can cause various signs that show something might be up with your hand and wrist.

Here’s what you might notice:

  • Tingling Sensation: You might feel a strange “pins and needles” sensation in your hand, especially in your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
  • Numbness: Parts of your hand could go numb, making it feel like your hand is “asleep.”
  • Hand Weakness: Your grip might become weaker, making it harder to hold onto things.
  • Nighttime Discomfort: Symptoms often get worse at night, which could wake you up and disturb your sleep.
  • Pain: You might experience pain that shoots from your wrist up to your arm or down into your hand.

These symptoms can start mildly but might get worse over time if not addressed.

How is Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed and Treated?

When it comes to diagnosing and treating carpal tunnel, doctors have some effective ways to help you feel better.

Here’s what they might do:

  • Diagnosis:
    • Medical History and Exam: The doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam of your hand and wrist to check for signs of carpal tunnel.
    • Nerve Tests: Special tests, like nerve conduction studies, can measure how well the median nerve is working and help confirm the diagnosis.
  • Treatment:
    • Rest and Breaks: Taking breaks from activities that strain your wrist, like typing, can give your hand a chance to heal.
    • Exercises: Doing gentle exercises and stretches can help keep your hand and wrist flexible and reduce symptoms.
    • Splints: Wearing a wrist splint can keep your hand in a good position and relieve pressure on the nerve, especially at night.
    • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs might help with pain and swelling.
    • Injections: In some cases, a doctor might recommend a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms.
    • Surgery: If other treatments don’t work, surgery might be an option to relieve pressure on the nerve and improve your hand’s function.

Our Carpal Tunnel Providers

Gregory Hicken, MD

Gregory Hicken, MD

Orthopedics

    Kerry Jepsen, MD

    Kerry Jepsen, MD

    Orthopedics

      Lori Novich-Welter, MD

      Lori Novich-Welter, MD

      Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Physiatry)

        Our Carpal Tunnel Location

        Franklin County Specialty Clinic
        64 N 1st E, Preston, ID 83263
        Second Floor, Suite 200
        Hours:
        Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
        (208) 852-3662