Carpal Tunnel

Board Certified Neurologist & Neurologist located in Houston, TX
Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel services offered in Houston, TX

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes wrist and hand pain, weakness, and numbness. If you develop these symptoms, call board-certified neurologist Paul Gill, MD, at Gill Neuroscience in Houston, Texas. Dr. Gill provides a timely diagnosis and comprehensive treatment that relieves your symptoms. Call Gill Neuroscience today and schedule an appointment or book online for exceptional carpal tunnel syndrome care.

Carpal Tunnel Q&A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a form of peripheral neuropathy affecting the median nerve in your wrist. This large nerve travels from your shoulder, down the arm, through the wrist, and into the thumb side of your hand.

The carpal tunnel is a bony formation through which nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels must pass to reach your hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs if the median nerve comes under pressure where it travels through the carpal tunnel.

What symptoms does carpal tunnel syndrome cause?

One primary carpal tunnel syndrome symptom is recurrent numbness affecting the thumb, index, and middle fingers and the half of your ring finger next to the middle finger. These digits all have branches of the median nerve in them. When there’s pressure on the nerve in your wrist, the effects travel along the nerve in either direction.

Carpal tunnel syndrome numbness usually happens at night because wrists tend to bend forward when people sleep. Other symptoms include:

  • Tingling in the thumb side of the hand
  • Tingling in the palm
  • Pain extending to the elbow
  • Pain in the wrist or hand
  • Difficulties coordinating fine finger movements
  • Weak grip
  • Difficulty carrying bags
  • Dropping things frequently

In advanced or long-term cases, pain can extend into the shoulder, and the muscle under the thumb might waste away.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

The root causes of carpal tunnel syndrome aren’t entirely clear. Environmental and occupational triggers such as repetitive hand movements were often considered responsible; however, more recent research indicates repetitive strain is less significant and may have little impact. It seems genetics are more influential on your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more likely to occur in people with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels)
  • Polyneuropathy (widespread nerve dysfunction)
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cervical radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is nerve compression in the neck (cervical vertebrae)

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

To treat carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr. Gill might recommend starting with conservative measures, such as:

  • Splinting or bracing at night
  • Activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Regular massage therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Medications
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Corticosteroid injections

Surgical release might be necessary for severe carpal tunnel syndrome and cases that don’t improve after treatment. Your surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament in your wrist to relieve compression, improving pain, numbness, and other symptoms without reducing hand function.

Call Gill Neuroscience today or book a consultation online for prompt, effective carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.