Let’s start with the anatomy. The syndrome itself is named for the area in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. It is a “tunnel” that some tendons and nerves travel through. If the wrist experiences extreme repetitive flexion or extension that tunnel space becomes compromised and the result can be pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers. These symptoms are quite common in people who type a lot with their wrists in bad positions. It is also a very common type of workers’ compensation claim in the white collar work force. It should never be taken lightly if you experience these symptoms.
What I want to point out to you is that Carpal Tunnel symptoms can be coming from five to nine different sites upstream from the tunnel itself. CTS surgery usually only addresses one site, the carpal tunnel.
Be aware that you may be manifesting these symptoms from as far up your arm as just above your collar bone. Also be aware that the nerves can be compromised at more than one site.
So what’s the next step? Surgery?
No. Surgery should be your last ditch effort. You definitely need an evaluation by a qualified professional before you make that decision. But there is so much you can do on the conservative front first and Active Release Technique is a great place to start.
I am here to help.