Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center
Allen Chu, MD, PhD
Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist & Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Greater Houston, TX
If you experience weakness, numbness, or tingling in your thumb or first three fingers, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. At Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center, in Houston, Texas, Allen Chu, MD, PhD, diagnoses and treats carpal tunnel syndrome using state-of-the-art medicine including electromyography (EMG) and other nerve conduction studies. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, numbness, and weakness in your hands and arms. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when your median nerve is compressed in your carpal tunnel.
Your carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist that protects nerves as they travel from your forearm into your hand. The carpal tunnel is only about an inch wide, and when the surrounding tendons and muscles become inflamed, the swelling reduces the space available, compressing your nerves.
Your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome increases if you have a family history of the condition or if you have to make repetitive movements with your hands and wrists. Health conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis can all contribute to inflammation in your wrists.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes a range of disruptive symptoms including:
- Numbness including tingling or burning sensations in your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
- Shocklike sensations that radiate through your thumb and fingers
- Pain that extends from your fingers and hand up through your arm
- Weakness that makes it hard to grasp or hold objects or perform fine motor movements
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition. Initially, your symptoms may be mild, but over time they become stronger and more disruptive to your life. For example, eventually, you may experience pain and numbness from your shoulder to your fingers or be unable to hold a cup of coffee or button your shirt.
What methods diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?
Dr. Chu provides comprehensive diagnostic exams and testing. He talks to you about your symptoms as well as your personal and family medical history. He also examines your hand and arm, testing the strength and feeling in your fingers and hand.
Dr. Chu also offers nerve conduction studies and electromyography (EMG) to study how well your median nerve is working and to see if a disruption elsewhere along the nerve is causing your symptoms.
What is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Dr. Chu offers customized treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on your symptoms and the extent of your carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, he may recommend anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling in your wrist and relieve nerve compression. He may also provide a wrist splint to relieve your nighttime symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on your nerve.
Call Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome.