Carpal Tunnel in Tulsa
Many people visit our clinic with complaints of wrist pain and questions regarding what exactly carpal tunnel syndrome feels like. Typically, as the median nerve is compressed due to swelling and bony misalignments of the wrist, patients begin to feel sensations of burning, pain, tingling, or swelling extending from the first to the third digit and thumb. It is not uncommon for patients to report that they have recently noticed weakness throughout the affected hand or that picking up small objects isn’t as easy as usual. Occasionally people develop the feeling of swelling in their hand as the median nerve becomes compressed, even when no swelling is present.
In addition to questions about what carpal tunnel syndrome feels like, patients often wonder how they developed the condition. Typically, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t completely evident. However, some patients are able to recall an injury to the wrist that caused the symptoms to develop shortly after. Certain occupations have also been shown to contribute to the development of the condition with jobs that involve long-term use of vibrating instruments and the repetitious use of the hands and wrist topping the list. Finally, metabolic disorders involving the pituitary and thyroid gland can also contribute to its development.
Depending on the activity, carpal tunnel typically begins in a person’s dominant hand, but symptoms throughout both hands is not uncommon. Unfortunately, many health care professionals only focus on the site of pain when the problem actually lies elsewhere. In fact, it has been shown that patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms typically have nerve irritation stemming from the spine. This is often why carpal tunnel decompression surgeries are unsuccessful nearly 40% of the time. While carpal tunnel is more common in the dominant hand, it is also nearly 3 times more common in women due to the size of the tunnel itself.