Many computer users are familiar with numbness and tingling in the hands following overuse.

Although these pain symptoms are common, they are warning signs, according to Dr. Steve Maschke, an orthopedic surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic.  Burning or itching in the palm, which can gradually become more severe, is an early indicator of carpal tunnel pain.

“An early sign is waking up with a tingling sensation in your hands,” notes Dr. Maschke. To prevent a critical nerve in the wrist from becoming progressively more compressed, sufferers should take steps to remedy the pain immediately.

Hand tingling and numbness may alert you to carpal tunnel syndrome, but the symptoms of the disease are more far-reaching than pain: it may cause your grip to gradually weaken and the muscles at the base of your thumb to atrophy.

Impingement of the median nerve

To better understand hand & wrist pain, the most obvious place to start is the carpal tunnel. It is a critical corridor, located at the wrist, through which tendons and nerves pass to allow control of the hand. One of the nerves, the median nerve, extends through all five fingers but the pinky.

When tendons experience inflammation, the median nerve – stuck within the tight passageway – becomes impinged, resulting in tingling and numbness in the region.

Act fast to prevent development

Don’t wait too long to speak with medical professionals about any continuing carpal tunnel pain.

Nonetheless, if you are in strong physical condition and are not feeling neck pain, you can safely try to achieve recovery on your own, as follows:

  • Brace yourself – A wrist brace can be worn while sleeping or during performance of any repetitive tasks, such as while using the computer.
  • Make adjustments – Optimize the ergonomics of your workstation. If you sit at a desk, you want for your hands and wrists to be positioned neutrally and un-strained. If you work in a manufacturing plant, assess your motions to determine how you might limit the demand on the hands and minimize flareups.
  • Take a pill – Medication is not a permanent solution for hand & wrist pain. However, aspirin, ibuprofen, and other over-the-counter medication can be your first line of defense against mild pain.
  • Get healthy – If you are overweight, weight loss will alleviate pain. It’s also wise to get away from tobacco: “Smoking seems to exacerbate symptoms,” according to Dr. Maschke.

Once hand tingling and numbness take hold, it can be difficult to recover full comfort and functionality. Time is of the essence. Contact Health Star Clinic, your team for a pain-free future.