You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: 10 Signs You Might Have The Painful Hand Condition

littlethings.com logo littlethings.com 12/21/2017 Kate Taylor

© Shutterstock Many of us take our basic bodily functions for granted. For instance, you never appreciate the luxury of breathing until you have a cold.

The same goes for using our hands. You’ve probably never thought about how much you use them until you have a hand injury or condition that gets in the way of just about everything you do.

People suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome are quick to learn that pain in the hand can be a lot more debilitating than a pain in the butt.

Virtual Medical Centre reports that carpal tunnel affects about 2.7% of the total population — and that women are especially vulnerable.

Like many conditions, the causes are a combination of nature and nurture. More importantly, it’s always best to catch carpal tunnel early on. Doing so gives you the best odds of recovery.

Learn about the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome so you know how to detect it sooner than later.

What Is Carpal Tunnel?

First of all, what is carpal tunnel?

According to, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), it is:

A narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand [that] houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to the index, middle, and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger). It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, occurs when the carpal tunnel becomes squeezed at the wrist, which interferes with the nerve being able to properly deliver messages to the muscle.

1. Hand Numbness

a drawing of a face: 1. Hand Numbness © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 1. Hand Numbness

Symptoms of carpal tunnel often start gradually, and one of the first is almost always numbness.

It’s a scary feeling when your any part of your body starts to lose feeling, and it’s especially problematic when it’s somewhere as sensitive as your hands.

2. Hand And Wrist Pain

a close up of a logo: 2. Hand And Wrist Pain © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 2. Hand And Wrist Pain The problem areas — your hand and wrist — may also experience pain in conjunction with numbness.

If there is no apparent outside cause of pain in these areas, CTS might be to blame.

3. Pain Worsens At Night

a close up of a logo: 3. Pain Worsens At Night © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 3. Pain Worsens At Night CTS and its symptoms can occur anytime of day, but they often start and are worst at night.

This is because people often sleep with their wrists flexed, which irritates the carpal tunnel even further than it already is.

4. Stiff Hands In The Morning

a close up of a logo: 4. Stiff Hands In The Morning © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 4. Stiff Hands In The Morning All of the pain and complications at night will likely make your hands feel kind of useless in the morning.

Even as your muscles begin to relax, and feeling is returned to your hands, you might have trouble using them for simple activities like making coffee or buttoning a shirt.

5. Weakening Muscle Strength

a drawing of a face: 5. Weakening Muscle Strength © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 5. Weakening Muscle Strength If you’ve been suffering from CTS symptoms for a while, your muscles will stop getting as much exercise as they normally would.

For this reason, you may notice that doing something like opening a jar or the fridge isn’t as easy as it normally would be.

6. Burning Feeling

a close up of a logo: 6. Burning Feeling © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 6. Burning Feeling Another way that CTS may make your hands feel different? By creating a strange, burning sensation.

Since the nerve that controls your hand is pinched, it tends to act up in ways it normally wouldn’t, like causing this spontaneous burning feeling.

7. Itching

7. Itching © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 7. Itching If your hands and wrists are itchy, and there’s no explanation like a rash or allergy, it’s possible that carpal tunnel is to blame.

Sensations like tingling, itching, and numbness are all associated with nerve response, and a compromised carpal tunnel can cause some unusual reactions.

8. Trouble Gripping Objects

8. Trouble Gripping Objects © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 8. Trouble Gripping Objects With lack of control over your fingers and hands, you might experience difficulty gripping objects.

Dropping a glass is never fun, but it’s even less fun when your hands don’t even work properly enough to clean up the mess they caused.

9. Trouble Sensing Temperatures

a drawing of a face: 9. Trouble Sensing Temperatures © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 9. Trouble Sensing Temperatures Normally, we are very good and quick to detect changes in temperatures. However, CTS will often interfere with the accuracy of sensation in the problem area.

Remember, just because something doesn’t feel hot, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Not being able to feel boiling water is a third-degree burn waiting to happen.

10. Swollen Fingers

a close up of a logo: 10. Swollen Fingers © Morgan Swofford For LittleThings 10. Swollen Fingers Since CTS is often caused by swelling in the wrist, it’s not uncommon for the puffiness to extend to the hand and fingers, too.

Some people with CTS might even just feel as though their fingers are puffy and useless, even though they don’t appear so.

Be sure to SHARE this information with your loved ones!

Gallery: 10 Reasons Your Hands Are Going Numb (courtesy Prevention)

[H/T: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Littlethings.com

littlethings.com
littlethings.com
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon