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You may have carpal tunnel syndrome if you feel recurring pain in your palm, forearm, and wrist; numbness in the fingers and hands; difficulty in gripping, and weakness in the thumb. The discomfort manifests worse at night may be because you sleep with flexed wrists.
If you suspect that you have this condition, consult with a healthcare professional immediately. It is important that you are diagnosed early to prevent further harm. He may perform physical checkup of the hands, arms, shoulder, and even neck to verify if the symptoms are connected to your everyday functions or if they are brought by underlying medical conditions. He will check if your wrist is suffering from swelling, burning sensation, tenderness, and discoloration.
Your doctor may also perform one or more of these tests: Tinel’s sign test, Phalen’s sign test, and Two-point discrimination test. He will tap the inside of your wrist. If you feel numb, if you feel like there are “pins and needles” piercing you, you are likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Phalen’s sign test, on the other hand, is when you relax your elbows on a flat surface, with your forearms raised and your elbows bent. Afterwards, the doctor will ask you to bend your wrists and let your hands flop for at least one minute. If you feel pain, numbness or tingling, you are suspected to have carpal tunnel syndrome.
In two-point discrimination test, you will have to close your eyes and your doctor will make use of small tools, such as paper clips, and let the two ends touch two points on your finger or hand.
The primary treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is rest. Gives support to your wrist to make sure it is straight. This will eliminate or at least minimize strain to the median nerve. As much as possible, do not bend your wrist. Likewise, avoid using vibrating tools.
If you will have to do similar hand movements, make sure that you take a break to relax your wrist. See to it that your wrist is higher than your hand. When using computer, you may consider adjusting the height of your chair so your forearms is at the same level with the keyboard, as well as mouse. Always keep your hands warm.
Some people ignore the feeling of numbness, pain and tingling in their hands. They often think that this is only caused by an earlier activity and that it will be gone later. They are not aware that this simple sensation can worsen and lead to major functional impairment. Do not be like them. See a doctor immediately to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.