With the advent of WebMD, it is easy for us to be a Google search away from diagnosing ourselves. Sometimes the symptoms are very similar for several conditions and we think we might have something when we don’t. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of those ailments that seems to be plaguing everyone. However, there are other ailments that are very similar, but require treatment in different areas.
One of the most common areas for work pain is your hands because you use them so much at work and in everyday life, it is hard for them to get any rest . The good news is that you are a hardworking person, with goals, ambitions, and doing really great work. The bad news is that your hard work may be leaving you in pain. Maybe your fingers are numb, tingling, you are waking up at night with a sharp pain or have reached the point where even texting is extremely difficult.
When your hands are in pain it can come from another part of your body and you need to know from where.
You may think this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but there may be other causes. Depending on what it is, will also determine what you can do about it.
We unfortunately live in a day and age where carpal tunnel is becoming an ailment that can be triggered by something as simple as too much texting or too much time on our cellphones. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the Median Nerve gets pinched or compressed in the carpal tunnel passageway that runs down the palm of your hand. The Median Nerve controls what you feel and the movements of your thumb and first three fingers. This can occur from trauma to the nerve, overuse of the hand, or improper form. Many people believe that carpal pain tunnel pain is in the wrist, but it occurs mostly at the base of your palm.
CTS may can be so debilitating that people resort to Carpal Tunnel surgery in which a surgeon cuts the nerve to release the pressure. Unfortunately, the surgery only works about 50% of the time and the symptoms may even come back due to scar tissue. A less invasive way is to gently massage the nerve and stretch your hands out frequently. Wearing a brace may also help to keep your wrist straight and keep you from further pinching the nerve.
Let’s talk about a cousin of Carpal Tunnel called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. TOS, for short, has almost the same sensation of the hands as CTS. Numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands. However, TOS is due to a pinched nerve in the shoulder area between your collar bone and your first rib. In order to get relief in your hands, you must first release the pinched nerve in your shoulder through massaging and stretching. This makes a huge difference if you thought you had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and were only focusing on your hands for relief.
TOS may be caused by a car accident, repetitive work movements, improper posture, or carrying oversized bags (attention ladies with oversized purses). The pain is not just in the hands, but also in the neck and shoulder area. By focusing on the neck, shoulder, and hands, you will have greater success at relieving the pain.
I bet you never thought carpal tunnel could have so many cousins, but here is another one. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused by an entrapment of the ulnar nerve at the elbow. This nerve comes from the shoulder down the arm to the hand. The most common symptom is pain and numbness of the pinky finger and half the ring finger. Remember, that Carpal Tunnel is related to the first 3 fingers and the thumb, so if your pinky is the problem then it might be Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.
Cubital Syndrome may be caused by excessive elbow movement, keeping your elbow bent during work or while sleeping, or a direct impact to the elbow. If you have pain in your pinky finger you want to consider massaging your elbow and taking stretch breaks.
Workvie’s Mission is to Help You Feel Better
Workvie pain relief creams are great to massage into your problem areas, but you need to apply them to the right spots. Workvie’s mission is to help hardworking professionals to have long and rewarding careers by improving their work wellness.
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I’m Annabel, the founder of Workvie, certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, and I work with 2 herniated discs. Thank you for visiting Workvie and I hope our creams can help you like they help me.
Workvie is the leading brand of work wellness pain relief creams made with high quality ingredients and natural essential oils to help people that work with physical pain and stress.
IMPORTANT: Our blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. If you are in pain seek medical attention.