Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Kaweah Delta: Comprehensive Treatment for Carpal Tunnel in Visalia

Carpal tunnel is a progressive condition that occurs when the median nerve in your wrist is pinched, pressed, or squeezed and causes numbness, tingling, and discomfort in your hand and forearm. The carpal tunnel is a rigid tunnel that runs from your hand to your forearm and consists of the median nerve, ligaments and bone.

Symptoms, Risk Factors & Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tingling or numbness. You may feel a tingling sensation or numbness in the palm of your hands or in your thumb and adjacent fingers.
  • Weakness. You may have weakness in one or both of your hands. This can be felt in the morning. You may feel the urge to “shake” your hand upon waking.
  • Pain. Carpal tunnel can cause pain extending to the elbow or in one or both wrists.
  • Weak grip. Difficulty carrying bags or a weak grip on objects is a common complaint among people with this condition.

Poor finger coordination. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause difficulty with finger movements in either of your hands.

Common risk factors and causes are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Alcohol use
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bone fractures
  • Obesity
  • Infections
  • Cyst on the wrist

Activities such as using a computer mouse, typing or playing sports are not proven to cause carpal tunnel syndrome, but they may cause bursitis and tendonitis in the hands which can result in similar symptoms.

Diagnosing & Treating Arthritis

Be sure to notify your physician if you are noticing symptoms of carpal tunnel. Common ways your doctor may test you for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tinel’s sign. Your physician will tap over the median nerve at your wrist. If it causes pain to shoot from your wrist to your hand, you may have carpal tunnel.
  • Phalen’s test. When your doctor bends your wrist fully forward for a minute, it will cause weakness, numbness or tingling if you have this painful condition.

Kaweah Delta offers a wide variety of treatments, including:

  • Warm and cold compresses on affected area.
  • Wearing a night or full splint over the next several weeks.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen or ibuprofen.
  • Carpal tunnel surgery or carpal tunnel release.

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

If your job requires you to type often, be sure to use tools that are designed to decrease your risk. Here are a few ways to take precautions against developing this condition:

  • Split keyboards
  • Keyboard trays
  • Typing pads
  • Wrist bracelet
  • Frequent breaks when typing

Schedule a consultation with your primary care doctor or click HERE for a list of specialists in your area.

In Visalia, Kaweah Delta and local orthopedic surgeons partner to provide excellent carpal tunnel treatments for patients from Visalia, Hanford, Tulare, Porterville, Fresno, Bakersfield and surrounding areas.