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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pain, Spine, & Rehab Associates

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine Specialists located in Gaithersburg, MD

If you have pain, numbness, or weakness in your forearm, wrists, or thumb and first two fingers of your hand, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). At Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the team of physical medicine and pain management experts diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and offer customized treatments to relieve your symptoms and restore function to your arm and hand. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today for compassionate, patient-focused care.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that develops when inflammation in your wrist narrows your carpal tunnel and compresses the median nerve. Your carpal tunnel is a narrow opening between your wrist bones that allows the median nerve to extend from your arm into your hand.

When your median nerve is compressed, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain in your forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in your thumb and first two fingers
  • Weakness in your hand and fingers — you may struggle to grasp or hold small objects
  • Clumsiness or tendency to drop objects

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms tend to develop gradually, eventually becoming more severe or persisting longer. You may also notice that your symptoms are worse at night. If you sleep with your wrists bent, your symptoms may even wake you up. 

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when inflammation in your wrist narrows your carpal tunnel and compresses the median nerve. Swelling can develop from repetitive hand movements such as typing, using a computer mouse, or other activities that cause you to flex or extend your wrist for a long time. You may also have a health condition that causes inflammation, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Other factors that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome include your genetics and your occupation. Smoking, obesity and pregnancy also add to your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

The team at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates begins with a comprehensive exam to confirm your diagnosis and assess your condition. They may use ultrasound and electrodiagnostic, such as electromyograms (EMGs).

Your provider designs a customized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms and address the underlying causes of your condition. For example, you may benefit from wearing a wrist brace either during the day or overnight. Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications, including corticosteroid injections, to reduce the swelling in your wrists. Your doctor may refer you for physical therapy or surgery if non-invasive treatments aren’t effective. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is among the most common types of nerve pain or neuropathy. Other types of neuropathies, including ulnar neuropathy, sciatic neuropathy, and diabetic neuropathy, may cause numbness and tingle in your arms or legs. If you’re concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome or another type of neuropathy, call Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates or schedule a consultation online today.