What are the signs and symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ?

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually begin slowly and gradually with a dull ache in the wrist which eventually extends into the hand and fingers. Commonly, a person with carpal tunnel syndrome will wake up in the middle of the night with pain and numbness in the hand and will typically shake or massage the whole hand and wrist in an attempt to restore normal feeling. Some people complain of a weaker handgrip, resulting in involuntarily dropping objects.

For people who engage in activities, which are repetitive, the pain and numbness may return during the day. If left untreated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may result in progressive and permanent weakness and numbness in the hand.

Early symptoms include :

1. Numbness at night, 

2. Tingling, and/or 

3. Pain in the fingers (especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers). 

Late symptoms include :

1. Difficulty handling small objects, grasping a car steering wheel to drive, holding a book to read, writing, and using a computer keyboard, due to decreased feeling in the fingertips.

2. As carpal tunnel syndrome worsens, symptoms become more constant. Weakness in the hand manifests in an inability to perform tasks that require delicate motions (such as buttoning a shirt), and involuntarily dropping objects, begins to occur. 

3. In the most severe cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb visibly shrink in size showing signs of wasting and atrophy.

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