How To Know When Hand Pain Could Be Carpal Tunnel

Do you ever experience hand pain? Hand pain can be problematic, especially if you do repetitive work with your hands, such as typing or fixing cars. According to Healthline, your hands are made up of 27 bones along with joints, nerves, connective tissue, and muscles. There are many different causes of hand pain including arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, ganglion cysts, gout, lupus, peripheral neuropathy, Raynaud's disease, trigger finger, injury, and more. So, how do you know what is causing it?

Experts at Spine Health list three possible reasons for hand pain — carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or cervical radiculopathy, pain caused by damage to one of the eight nerves in your cervical spine that's located in your neck. 

You shouldn't ignore any pain from any part of your body, as it's your body's way of telling you something is wrong. You need to figure out what the cause is in order to effectively treat it. Here's how to know if your hand pain is from carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

According to WebMD, you have a median nerve that runs through your arm and passes through your wrist, which ends in the middle of your hand. The passage in your wrist is called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls feeling and movement in your thumb, forefinger, middle finger, and ring finger. With carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve gets squished. At the beginning stages of carpal tunnel syndrome, you might notice that your hands, arms, and shoulders are numb and tingling when you wake up in the morning. While you're awake, you might find yourself shaking your hands to get rid of those feelings, and it can help temporarily. Other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are hand weakness, difficulty holding things, tingling in your hand that goes up your arm, and burning, numbness, or tingling in your fingers, thumb, and hand.

Healthline adds that you may also feel pain in your hand that goes up your arm and wrist, particularly at night. If you have these symptoms, see your doctor for a diagnosis. They'll examine your medical history and thoroughly check your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck. They will also likely do a nerve conduction study to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. If so, it can be treated with physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medication, steroid injections, and wrist splints.