Because of how we use them, the nerves of the hand are especially sensitive. When they are strained it’s extremely hard to rest them because we are constantly holding or grabbing things. This constant use is also a primary reason why nerve problems occur in the first place. Our lives are centered around computers and smartphones, each of which requires precise movements for our hands and wrists. Years of repetitive use leave our nerves overworked and strained.
Dr. Arora understands the complexities of nerves and is ready to answer any questions you may have. All you need to do is schedule an initial consultation with us and let us know how we can help!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Arguably the most well-known nerve issue, carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the median nerve of the wrist is overworked or pressured too much. Common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are numbness and tingling in the fingers and hand.
The name comes from the carpal tunnel, a hollow space in the wrist where the median nerve and a handful of tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. The reason for the nerve tightness can vary, but is most often associated with typing or meticulous movement of the wrist and fingers.
The diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel has seen a rise in recent years as computers and smartphones have become an inseparable part of our lives. Treatment for this condition is to relieve pressure on the median nerve. This could be done with rest, wearing a splint on the hand to prevent movement, or even surgery. Talk with a member of our medical team about the best treatment for you.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
We all recognize the funny bone as the area that protrudes out from the inside of our elbows, and we especially know the feeling we get when we accidentally knock it against something. The reason for the all-too-familiar tingling and pain is because the funny bone isn’t an actual bone, but a nerve.
Accidentally knocking the funny bone causes the tingling and numbness to happen temporarily, but when it lasts longer it could be Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. This condition is when the nerve that makes up the funny bone is pressured and overworked, causing the funny bone sensation to last longer than only a few seconds.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
When the pain of a relatively minor injury doesn’t go away, it could be RSD. RSD is when the nerves of a selected area continue to fire and send pain signals long after they should have stopped. The pain could be where the injury initially occurred, but can travel to other parts of the body as well. This makes diagnosing RSD tricky.
Treatment for RSD depends on the areas and severity of the pain. If it’s caught quickly enough, the pain could be medicated with therapy and over the counter medication. However, if it’s advanced to the point of severely impacting a person’s quality of life, surgical options are available.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Much like RSD, CRPS is classified as pain that just won’t go away. The initial trauma can be as simple as a papercut or a bruise, but after a number of weeks, the pain still persists. The pain is often centered on the hands.
The number one symptom of CRPS is pain, but there are other symptoms associated with this condition as well including:
- Red, purple or pale skin
- Shiny or thin skin
- Abnormal hair growth
- Increased sensitivity to pressure
- Increased sensitivity to temperature changes
The diagnosis for CRPS is tricky as well, which is why it takes a medical professional to diagnose this syndrome.
Numbness in the hands and fingers is often diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel, but the fact is any nerve that is pinched or not working correctly will result in numbness. The nerves are an intricate system of providers and receptors in the body, and if that connection isn’t working for any reason, there will be numbness.
The problem with diagnosing general numbness is finding out where the problem is taking place. The interconnectivity of the nervous system makes it difficult to diagnose which nerves aren’t communicating correctly. This is why the most common approach to numbness is to massage and look at nerves in the neck, shoulder and forearms. These are the most common places for pinching and could be the reason the hands and fingers are going numb.
Nerve issues may be small, but they can have a huge effect on a person’s quality of life. If you’re feeling numbness and tingling in your hands, call the Arora Hand Surgery office and schedule your initial consultation today.