Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is the aching in my wrist carpal tunnel syndrome?"
What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome. I use a computer a lot and now my right wrist hurts all of the time. Is that what?s going on? How do you get tested for this?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where a nerve (called the median nerve) that travels through the wrist gets compressed by the surrounding tendons and tissue that all have to fit in the wrist. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, tingling, numbness, and sometimes weakness in the hand localizing to the first three digits (thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger). The pinky and half the wring finger should not be affected. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause problems in the wrist, but it is more likely that this pain is related to something else if you don't have the pain in the hand and fingers. In other words without the hand/finger symptoms, the median nerve is unlikely to be compressed. Another problem that can cause wrist pain due to typing is tendonitis. This is an inflammation of the tendons that run through the wrist that are responsible for moving the fingers. Only your doctor can tell the difference. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of your symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. Simple exam maneuvers can distinguish between carpal tunnel and the other causes of wrist pain. From there you can get the right treatment.
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