You wake up in the middle of the night with that tingly pins-and-needles feeling in your hand, like you were sleeping on it. Or maybe while you’re doing computer work, you’ve noticed some wrist pain or numbness in your fingers. It might go away, but, over time, it becomes more persistent.
Hand surgeon Bobby Chhabra, MD, compares carpal tunnel to stepping on a garden hose while watering grass: The median nerve on your wrist becomes compressed by repetitive wrist motions or gripping. If you step on a garden hose long enough, the grass dies from lack of water. Likewise, over time, your hand becomes weak from not getting normal nerve signals, and you begin to experience constant numbness.
The first step to carpal tunnel treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis, because sometimes a pinched nerve in the neck causes similar symptoms. In mild cases, taking vitamin B6 and wearing a splint can help. More serious cases require cortisone injections or surgery.
Listen to Chhabra explain carpal tunnel treatments: