Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Jul 07, 2016
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Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At first, symptoms occur more often at night. Many people have a habit of sleeping with their wrist bent, which may cause more pain and symptoms at night.

As symptoms gets worse, the tingling may be felt during the daytime too, along with pain moving from the wrist to arm down to fingers. Pain is usually felt more on the palm side of the hand. Another symptom is the weakness of the hands that gets worse over time. Fingers may feel swollen even if they are not. If left untreated, there would be a loss of feeling in some fingers and permanent weakness of the thumb. Thumb muscles can actually get waste away over time. Eventually, there may be trouble telling the difference between hot and cold temperatures.

  • Numbness or tingling sensation in hand and fingers, especially thumb, index and middle fingers.
  • Pain in wrist, palm or forearm
  • Numbness or pain that worsens in night
  • Unbearable pain experienced in the middle of night that it might wake you up
  • Increase in pain on using hand or wrist
  • Trouble gripping objects
  • Tendency to drop things
  • Loss of sense of heat and cold
  • Weakness in thumb

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) ranges from a minor inconvenience to a severe disabling condition, depending on its cause, persistence and the nature of individual''s work. Many cases are mild, and might resolve on their own. Severe cases if left untreated, muscles at the base of the thumb might get atrophied and the sensation might be permanently lost. It can become so crippling that people s no longer do their job or even perform simple tasks at home. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the symptoms associated with occupational overuse syndrome.

Psychological Consequences

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results in inability of a person in using his hand, there by impairing him from doing his work resulting in depression and anxiety. A daily wage worker suffering with CTS might have to lose his livelihood if his CTS is ignored or remains untreated. The wrist pain if ignored can affect the efficiency of an employee. A person suffering from CTS is unable to drive the car and cannot even do small tasks like picking up some small things.

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