Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Overview

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a fairly common source of hand numbness and pain in athletes. The tendons swell and put pressure on the median nerve, which is one of the three major nerves that are responsible for supplying feeling in the hand.
Doctors at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Sports Medicine Program are experienced in detecting episodes of carpel tunnel syndrome and recognizing the disease's unique properties. Once diagnosed, our sports medicine experts will formulate a care plan that will reduce symptoms and eventually mitigate your carpel tunnel syndrome so you can enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by:

  • Pressure placed on the nerve traveling through the carpal tunnel.
  • Increased pressure on a nerve that enters the hand through the confined space of the carpal tunnel.
  • Improper use of the hand, such as during repetitive motions.
  • Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or menopause.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In some cases, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is entirely unknown.
  • Heredity can make you more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin slowly, without specific signs of an injury.

  • A feeling of numbness, tingling and pain in the hand is very common.
  • An electric-like shock feeling in the fingers or the hand.
  • Symptoms at night are common and make wake you from your sleep.
  • Symptoms occur when holding something, such as a cell phone, a steering wheel or book.
  • The thumb region is usually highly involved.
  • Moving or shaking the hands reduces the intensity of symptoms.

Symptoms usually come and go, but over time they become constant. A feeling of clumsiness or weakness can make delicate motions, such as typing on a keyboard, painful and difficult. If the condition is severe, muscles in the palm may look visibly wasted.

 

Treatment

If it is diagnosed and treated early enough, carpal tunnel syndrome can usually be corrected without the need of surgery.
Treatment will often begin with a brace or splint that needs to be worn at night to keep the wrist in a neutral position.
Additional treatment strategies include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs).
  • Changing patterns of hand use during sports or recreational activities.
  • Corticosteroid injections will often provide temporary relief, but symptoms may come back.

Learn more about Carpal Tunnel surgery.

If you have questions about carpal tunnel syndrome or want to make an appointment with us, please contact one of our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.