Numbness or the feeling of pain in your wrists can be early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. If symptoms strike at night while sleeping or are concentrated to the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers at any point of the day, then you should seek a medical opinion. The experts at Lewis Pain Management can help you get a definite answer if you have carpal tunnel and give you treatment options before considering surgery.
Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX was founded by Dr. Jerry Lewis. Dr. Lewis is a board-certified pain management specialist and medical doctor. His professionally trained staff is dedicated to giving both men and women viable education and treatment options if struggling with carpal tunnel. Here is some helpful information on avoiding carpal tunnel surgery and how Lewis Pain Management can help you get pain relief.
What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is a tingling or numbness in the hand, wrist, or arm that is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. In severe cases, it can be extremely painful due to a compressed or squeezed nerve. The carpal tunnel bones in our wrists protect the nerves and tendons that allow our fingers to move and bend. When that tunnel becomes narrow or tissues that surround the nerve become inflamed, it causes pressure. This abnormal pressure causes numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness to occur in the hand. In most cases, it is a condition that only worsens unless treated. Not all pain associated with the hands or wrists is carpal tunnel syndrome, so seeking medical help from a professional like Dr. Lewis, is an important first step.
Who is impacted by carpal tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by a combination of factors. Research has shown that elderly people and women are more likely to struggle with this condition. Some other likely factors are:
Repetitive use of the hands: Job occupations where individuals repeat the same hand and wrist motion over a long period of time can cause tendons in the wrist to swell which puts pressure on the nerve.
Improper hand and wrist position: Job tasks or an activity that involves the wrist and hand being extended or flexed for a long period of time can increase pressure on the nerve causing damage. For example, sitting at your desk and typing all day on a computer without proper hand and wrist placement can lead to carpal tunnel.
Genetics: This is a very common factor for most individuals. Smaller carpal tunnel space is passed down through family members which can lead to nerve damage due to their anatomy.
Pregnancy: Changes in hormones with pregnancy can cause inflammation.
Other health conditions: Arthritis, thyroid imbalances, or diabetes can all be causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Is carpal tunnel surgery my only option?
No. Seeking medical help to get a proper diagnosis is the first step. If carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed early enough there are some nonsurgical treatment options. Dr. Lewis and his staff at Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX will educate you on what you can do to treat the condition and help you find other solutions, if possible, to avoid surgery.
Wear a splint or brace
Typically, the most common treatment is for patients to wear a brace or splint at night. It is difficult to keep your hands and wrists under control while you sleep. Wearing this device will not only help you sleep better but also keep your wrist straight in order to avoid putting pressure on your nerve so it can begin to heal. If a person’s occupation involves repetitive actions like working on an assembly line or typing on a computer then a splint may need to be worn during the day to relieve nerve pressure.
Taking over-the-counter pain relief medications can help relieve minor discomfort and reduce any inflammation. The same is true about doing regular ice treatments. A combination of Advil or Aleve and regular ice treatments will help reduce inflammation for mild cases of carpal tunnel.
Change your activity
If your job or daily activities involve your hands or wrists being extended or flexed for long periods of time, changing how you do those tasks can help alleviate symptoms. In most cases, individuals that work in an office environment deal with carpal tunnel issues. Changing up your workstation and getting office equipment to help your hands and wrists type in a different, more ergonomically correct position may be all the change you need. The professionally trained staff at Lewis Pain Management can educate you on what you need to do to change up your daily activity and improve your carpal tunnel symptoms.
Specific exercises or therapies
Some patients can benefit from daily hand and wrist exercises in order to relieve any carpal tunnel symptoms. The staff at Lewis Pain Management can give you specific exercises to do at home on a regular basis in order to alleviate any mild discomfort and allow that main nerve to move more freely in the carpal tunnel area. They will show you how to do these exercises and suggest subsequent follow up visits at Lewis Pain Management to make sure they are still working to relieve any discomfort.
In some cases, when wearing a splint and at-home remedies don’t fully work, patients can look into cortisone injections. Patients in the Frisco and surrounding areas who need a little more help with their carpal tunnel symptoms can get cortisone injections. This anti-inflammatory tool can be injected directly into the carpal tunnel area to give patients relief for months and in some cases years.
Since most men and women would prefer to forgo surgery, patients dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome may find relief with these options. If Carpal tunnel syndrome is caught early enough, it can be treated without surgery. But in other more severe cases, surgery may be the only answer. Working with Dr. Jerry Lewis and the professionally-trained staff at Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX is your first step in dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are concerned you may have carpal tunnel syndrome then we invite you to call or schedule a consultation with Dr. Jerry Lewis today.