Carpal tunnel syndrome Symptoms

  • Symptoms

    Tingling in the hands is an early sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. The tingling may be followed by a feeling of weakness or numbness in the hands and intense shooting pain that travels up the arm. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often first appear at night and may be pronounced enough to cause sleeplessness. One or both hands may tingle painfully. This tingling may become more frequent and often involves the thumb, index, and ring fingers.

    Hand strength and dexterity are often affected. Your fingers may feel swollen or useless, making you clumsy when performing simple tasks.You may experience weakness in your hands and be unable to firmly grip an object or make a fist.

    In some cases, patients may have trouble using touch to distinguish between hot and cold.

  • Risk Factors

    Certain medical conditions can put you at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Physical conditions that cause the tissues in the carpal tunnel to swell may make you susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. Such conditions include trauma to the wrist, pregnancy, arthritis, a cyst in the area of the wrist, thyroid disease, amyloidosis (a rare condition in which protein deposits accumulate in specific areas of the body), and acromegaly (a disorder in which the production of excessive growth hormone causes parts of the body, especially the hands and feet, to become enlarged).

    People whose jobs require repetitive hand motion are most at risk Table 01. Any task that overuses the hands and wrists can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Some high-risk repetitive tasks include typing, playing a musical instrument, using scissors, and working with garden tools.

    Table 1.  Occupations Associated With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Assembly line workers
    Butchers
    Cashiers
    Musicians
    Postal workers
    Secretaries
    Sign language interpreters/instructors
    Typists
    Upholsterers
    Waitresses

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