The Tingling And Numbness In Your Fingers May Be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here's When To See A Nervous System Specialist

If you frequently experience numbness, pain or tingling in your fingers, you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The main nerve in your wrist that connects your hand to the rest of your nervous system runs through a small channel called the carpal tunnel. When your carpal tunnel is compressed, it pinches the nerve inside. The pinched nerve is responsible for the pain and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

While carpal tunnel syndrome is often associated with performing repetitive tasks such as typing or sewing, it can also be caused by diabetes or an injury to your wrist. Swelling from overuse or rheumatoid arthritis can also compress the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to become worse over time, and it can even cause nerve damage if left untreated. Here are three signs that it's time to schedule an appointment with a neurologist to diagnose and treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.

1. You Wake Frequently During the Night Due to Pain in Your Hands

Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome find that their symptoms become much worse at night. During the night, you may fall asleep in a position that places extra pressure on your wrist. The extra pressure on your wrist further compresses your carpal tunnel, worsening your symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome can easily prevent you from getting a full night's rest, causing you to feel fatigued the next day.

2. You Can't Tell the Difference Between Hot and Cold Temperatures

When the median nerve in your wrist is pinched due to carpal tunnel syndrome, the nerves in your hand and fingers that sense temperature can't send signals to the rest of your nervous system. You'll experience difficulty judging how hot or a cold an object is by touch. Since most people use their hands to quickly assess how hot an object is, this can put you in a dangerous situation – you can easily burn your hand in scalding water or on a hot pan without even feeling it.

3. You Have Difficulty Performing Daily Tasks

Carpal tunnel syndrome can reduce your grip strength, causing you to drop objects more frequently. In addition, numbness in your hands and fingers can make manipulating small objects much more difficult. You may have trouble opening jars or using a key to unlock the front door of your home. Your job performance may also suffer as a result, especially if you're expected to perform tasks that require manual dexterity.

If you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, it's important to schedule an appointment with a neurologist, like, North Texas Neuroscience Center PA, for a complete diagnosis. Your neurologist will perform a nerve conduction study to determine whether or not the median nerve in your wrist is compressed or damaged. Prompt treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome through corticosteroids or surgery will limit the damage done to your nerves, increasing your chances of a full recovery.