In today’s fast-paced digital age, many individuals find themselves spending extended hours typing away or engaged in repetitive hand motions at work. Over time, this can lead to a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, otherwise known as CTS.
Recognizing the signs of CTS is important for people in certain fields of work.
Persistent hand numbness and tingling
1% to 5% of the American public has CTS. One of the primary signs of this problem is numbness and tingling in the hand.
Typically, individuals with CTS experience these sensations in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. This numbness may extend from the hand to the forearm and often occurs during activities like typing or using a mouse.
Weakness in the hand and fingers
CTS can create weakness in the affected hand and fingers. This weakness may lead to difficulty gripping objects, dropping things unexpectedly or a general sense of hand fatigue. Individuals with CTS may find it challenging to perform tasks that require fine motor skills, like buttoning a shirt or opening a jar.
Discomfort in the wrist and hand
Persistent pain or discomfort in the wrist and hand is a common indicator of CTS. The pain may radiate from the wrist into the forearm and increase during activities that involve repetitive wrist movements. The discomfort may range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pains.
Swelling in the fingers
In some cases, individuals with CTS may notice swelling in their fingers. This swelling can contribute to a feeling of tightness in the hand and may come with changes in skin temperature and color.
CTS symptoms often worsen at night. Many people report increased discomfort, numbness and tingling sensations in their hands and fingers while sleeping. This can lead to disrupted sleep patterns and increased daytime fatigue.
Being aware of these signs is important if someone suspects they have CTS. Seeking medical advice can help with discomfort and prevent further progression of this common condition.