What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand that may travel up to the shoulder. The carpal tunnel is a small, narrow “tunnel” made up of strong, rigid tissue called the transverse carpal ligament and small bones known as carpal bones.  This “tunnel” is where the median nerves travel from the neck and pass through the wrist into the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by inflammation and swelling of the median nerve, tendons, and other surrounding tissue which press on the median nerves resulting in pain.

How does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affect the body?

Symptoms from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause daily life activities to become difficult such as typing on a keyboard, holding a steering wheel to drive, handling small objects, or buttoning clothes. The pain from carpal tunnel syndrome may also cause interrupted sleep due to the sudden electrical shock sensation, numbness, or tingling. These symptoms can also worsen over time and become more constant.

Causes

  • Injury to the Wrist – fracture or dislocation
  • Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, hypothyroidism
  • Repetitive hand and wrist motions- twisting, turning, bending, grasping
  • Strain from flexing the wrist for long periods of time as with use of keyboard and computer mouse
  • Family history

Symptoms

  • Pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in fingers or hand, except for the little finger
  • Weakness in the hand, dropping objects
  • Feel the need to “shake” out the hand to reduce symptoms
  • Electric shock sensation in fingers with use of hand and wrist
  • Pain and tingling may travel up the arm

Treatments

  • Corticosteroid Injections for the wrist
  • Wrist splinting or bracing
  • Nerve blocks

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the Greater Austin Area

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome greatly depends on the severity of the condition. Our pain specialists may order a nerve conduction study to be performed to determine how severe the condition is. They will also conduct a physical exam to determine signs and symptoms that are related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome such as location of pain, muscle weakness, and activities that cause pain.

Luckily, non-surgical treatments exist to help treat and manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The use of a wrist brace or splint could help to restrict repetitive movements and allow the wrist time to rest. The use of corticosteroids injections is a treatment option that your specialist may use to treat and manage pain as well. A specialist may also recommend physical therapy to work on exercises to improve posture and form, as well as to learn to use less force while typing or relaxing the hand grip when writing or holding objects. Medications, such as NSAIDs, may also  be prescribed to help in managing pain and inflammation.Those experiencing carpal tunnel symptoms in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas can rely on Greater Austin Pain Center to provide them with the treatment they need.

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Am I at Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are many risk factors that can put you at risk for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some of these are:

  • Fracture, dislocation or deformity of the hand or wrist
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney Failure/Hemodialysis
  • Family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Along with the risk factors listed, repetitive motion such as typing on a keyboard, texting or talking on the phone can increase the chance of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Forceful vibrations, such as when using jackhammers or dremel tools, can also contribute. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be seen more commonly in the elderly due to health conditions like arthritis and in females due to having naturally smaller wrists and hormone changes during pregnancy and menopause. It is not common to see Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a person who is younger than 20 years old. Some medications, such as those used for treatment of some types of cancer, may also put you at increased risk.

If you think you might be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, and if you have any of the risk factors listed above, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. We are here to work with you to help manage and treat your pain!

Testimonials

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"The staff is very friendly and I was seen on time. The intake process was seamless and efficient. Dr. Jarzombeck is always very kind and thorough in her explanations. These folks are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Greater Austin Pain Center and Dr. Jarzombeck!"

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"Everyone is always very nice and courteous. Dr. Julia is amazing! He is friendly, kind and caring and so easy to talk with.  All the office staff I have had contact with has always been courteous and kind as well. Would highly recommend coming here!"

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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes the pain in my hand and wrist?

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Swelling and inflammation of the tissue in the wrist causes increased pressure on the medial nerve resulting in pain, numbness, and tingling.

Why do I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if I don't work at a desk?

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The reason Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects such a large number of people is because many of us use our hands and wrists to perform the same activity over and over. Texting, talking on the phone, video gaming, and playing musical instruments along with other factors, are all activities that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatable?

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Yes! Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated with non-surgical options like corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, medications, and the use of a wrist brace or splint.

When is it time to see a carpal tunnel doctor in Austin?

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Generally speaking, you should consider seeing a doctor if your carpal tunnel symptoms affect your ability to work, affect your sleep, keep you from performing simple movements with your hands or if you find it difficult to hold everyday objects. You should also see a carpal tunnel specialist in Austin if the pain is worsening, if you experience numbness, tingling, or pain that lasts for more than two weeks.

How can my carpal tunnel syndrome in Austin be diagnosed at Greater Austin Pain Center?

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At Greater Austin Pain Center, we will take a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat patients with carpal tunnel syndrome in Austin. We’ll assess your medical history, risk factors, pertinent behavioral and lifestyle factors, as well as conduct several types of tests to include imaging and physical exams to diagnose your condition. From there, we will recommend a custom program designed to provide the most effective treatment possible.

Can carpal tunnel syndrome in Austin be treated without surgery?

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Many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome in Austin can be treated effectively without surgery. Our carpal tunnel specialists at Greater Austin Pain Center have a variety of non-surgical treatment options for carpal tunnel in Austin that include medical braces, interventional therapies, steroid injections, as well as peripheral nerve stimulation, if recommended. You can talk to an experienced carpal tunnel pain doctor at Greater Austin Pain Center to discuss the best plan of treatment for your pain management needs.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Greater Austin Pain Center

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome in Austin, TX, reach out to Greater Austin Pain Center. Our carpal tunnel specialists have experience in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, and we’re ready to help provide you relief from your symptoms. For carpal tunnel treatment in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, choose the experts at Greater Austin Pain Center.

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