Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that develops due to an irritated or compressed median nerve, which passes through the carpal tunnel. Its symptoms usually start with a tingling sensation and numbness in the fingers. At first, the symptoms are intermittent and go away quickly. Most patients don’t know they have early-stage carpal tunnel syndrome – not until the symptoms become more severe.
When carpal tunnel syndrome is not treated or dealt with, the symptoms will begin to appear more frequently and with more intensity as time goes by. You may notice these sensations more intensely in the index, middle, and ring fingers as well as the thumb. You may also have difficulty gripping objects with the affected hand. Gradually, pain symptoms in the hand, wrist, and forearm may also develop.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The first thing to do when you experience symptoms in your hand, wrist, or arm is to see an orthopedic physician. While it is easy to come up with a list of possible diagnoses for your symptoms using the internet, the only way to get a 100% accurate diagnosis is through an educated and experienced medical professional. Even if your symptoms match ones common for carpal tunnel syndrome, there is a chance you may have some other medical condition. Therefore, anytime you experience symptoms – mild or severe – see a doctor as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually responds well to conservative treatments, if administered early. Conservative treatments include at-home treatments that you can do independently, such as taking frequent breaks from activities that engage your hands and arms and applying ice to relieve symptoms when they occur. Wearing a wrist splint can help prevent further damage to the median nerve and with rehabilitation after you develop the condition. Wearing the splint can help straighten the carpal tunnel, so the median nerve gets to rest and ample room to heal. If your pain symptoms are very bothersome, you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories to help bring temporary relief. However, taking the medication without the use of splints and frequent breaks will not be useful in the long run.
If your symptoms get worse or these treatments do not work, you may need to begin physical therapy. Physical therapy can strengthen your arm, wrist, and hand muscles, so you put less pressure on your median nerve when you use your hands.
In some severe cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can require surgical correction. However, this is the last resort when all conservative treatments have failed to bring your relief. Carpal tunnel release surgery is performed to reduce the pressure on the median nerve by increasing the room it has in the carpal tunnel. As a result, the median nerve does not get irritated, and you don’t experience symptoms of the condition.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in Dover, New Jersey
If you have sustained a hand injury and suspect it may be carpal tunnel syndrome, the earlier you get a diagnosis and begin treatment, the better. At Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, we deliver quick and accurate diagnoses as well as effective treatments to our patients.
For patients injured on the job, our orthopedic team specializes in workers’ compensation cases. We can guide you through the process and provide you expert medical care while keeping your employer and insurance carriers apprised of your treatment and recovery progress. In New Jersey, you are eligible to receive medical or disability benefits regardless of who is at fault.
Our orthopedic team welcomes you to our clinic in Dover. To schedule a consultation, call us at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment now. We look forward to serving you.