Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do my hands stiffen up?"
I am a 23 year old woman and i've noticed for the last couple months that when im writing or typing my fingers stiffen up. If i try and wiggle them they loosen up and i am fine. There's no pain or anything, just the stiffness. My mom thinks it could be carpal tunnel but I am not sure.
Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness on the palm side of the hand that is focused primarily around the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. So if you experiencing these symptoms, it may be carpal tunnel syndrome. However, if it is just joint stiffness, then it is unlikely to be carpal tunnel syndrome. When dealing with joint stiffness it is important to rule out an inflammatory process in the joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis or reactive arthritis. I suggest talking to your primary care doctor to help you with this. Before going to this appointment, it will be important to think about the following questions: When did the stiffness start? Is there any swelling, redness or pain, or is it just stiffness? Which joints are affected? Do the affected joints change? Is the stiffness worse in the morning and get better with activity, or do you feel more stiff after activity? Have there been any recent viral or other infections? Any skin rashes? Any new medications or other changes? After collecting this information, your primary care doctor will be able to perform a thorough physical examination and determine whether anything significant is going on or not.
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