Problems with the hands, fingers and wrists can have various causes. While some, like specific injuries, are easy to diagnose; others may not be as simple to identify.
If you've done a little research into your current problems, you may be wondering if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. How can you tell?
1. You're Having Unusual Sensations and Pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect your fingers, hands and wrists. It may make them feel numb, tingly or painful. Typically, this most affects the fingers, then the hands; these sensations or pain may also spread up through your wrist and into your arm.
The feelings you have in these areas aren't typically there all the time. They come and go and may be more obvious after you've held something or used your hand to do something. Sometimes, your symptoms are worse at night when your hands may naturally curl together. You may wake up because the numbness, tingling or pain has become so bad.
2. You Feel Better if You Shake Your Wrist
If you have these symptoms, then you may find that shaking your hand or wrist makes things go back to normal, at least for a while. This may shift pressure away from the nerve in your hand and wrist that causes the problems.
After shaking, your hand may work okay again, and you may not have any more symptoms for a while. However, this may only work early on. Carpal tunnel syndrome that is more advanced may not react to this movement any longer.
3. You Have a Weaker Grip Than Normal
The nerve that is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome helps your fingers and thumbs work. So it's not unusual for this syndrome to affect the strength in your hands and your grip.
For example, you may find it hard to grip or hold things for long periods. Ultimately, your grip may feel weak even to start with. You may go to pick something up only to drop it because you don't have a tight enough hold on it. Or you may need to let something go after a while because it is hurting your hand or wrist. Eventually, you may lose some fine motor control skills. For example, you may find it hard to use buttons or to pick up smaller objects.
If you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, then make an appointment to see your GP. They have a range of tests they can use to diagnose the problems you're having.
For a very long time, I avoided visiting my GP. Even when I got really sick, I would do anything I could to avoid having to visit my local clinic. However, when I settled down, all of that changed. My wife insisted that I start to engage with primary care services. At first, I did so reluctantly. However, as time went on, I came to realise just how important primary care is. Now, I am a big advocate for visiting GPs and other primary care professionals. That is the reason I decided to start writing the articles on this blog.