Carpal tunnel syndrome
is a very common cause of wrist pain for many people. Women, those who are obese, and those who use their hands with repeated movements for long periods of time can be at an increased risk of suffering from this condition. This condition is thought to occur because the nerve that innervates part of your hand travels through a very small canal that feeds into your hand through your wrist. Any swelling from the surrounding areas can compress the nerve, which, over time, will lead to atrophy (or shrinking) of the nerves. This will present as weakness, wrist pain, numbness
, and tingling. All of these can be exacerbated with common wrist movements, and there are simple tests that can be used to reproduce the pain. Phalen's test is just one commonly used test that works by narrowing the nerve canal and confirming whether or not the symptoms occur. It is fairly successful at demonstrating which patients do, in fact, have problems with the involved nerve and canal. Your primary care doctor
will be able to speak with you about your symptoms and recommend whether or not you should visit with a specialist for further care of your wrist pain.