Read how Your Doctors Online helped Lily determine the cause of her left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping.
36-year-old with left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty in gripping
I have been experiencing left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping for the past two months. My name is Lily, and I am a florist by profession. My work is everything to me. Arranging flowers and decorating displays are part and parcel of the job. However, the work I love has recently become more of a challenge. I struggle to do even the basic tasks due to my left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping. At first, I noticed I could still make simple arrangements despite the pain. Although, soon, I started experiencing wrist weakness. Mainly I couldn’t grip the scissors with my index finger and thumb. I just kept dropping things.
I was afraid that I was developing an autoimmune condition such as MS!
The symptoms refused to disappear. Soon, I was convinced I had developed an autoimmune condition, multiple sclerosis. The fear had mentally paralyzed me. I kept hoping that my symptoms would disappear on their own, miraculously. Finally, I came to terms with reality. I made an appointment with my primary care physician. To my disappointment, I couldn’t get an appointment soon enough. However, my left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping symptoms were worsening. Therefore, I looked online for consultations.
I signed up for an online platform to discuss my left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping.
Signing up for online consultation on Your Doctors Online was very smooth. I was connected to a doctor immediately. Dr. Farrukh greeted me and waited for me to explain my symptoms. I informed the doctor that I had been experiencing left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping for the past two months. Moreover, I elaborated that my pain was worsening and interfering with my sleep.
After listening to me, she asked me to perform a small test.
The doctor asked me to hold my arms before me, flexing my wrists and then letting my hands hang for a minute. Then, she told me to report to her if I felt any pain, tingling, or numbness. I did as instructed. Then I said to her that I felt hurt and tingling. She then stated that my symptoms were due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Farrukh further explained that this condition was caused by nerve compression, namely the median nerve.
The left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty in gripping that I was experiencing were due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!
She advised me to follow up with my doctor for a physical examination and nerve conduction testing. Furthermore, she told me to take painkillers and wear a wrist splint to manage symptoms. She also explained other treatment options, such as steroid injections, to provide relief. However, the management would depend on the progression of my symptoms. In some cases, surgery is required.
I am glad that I opted for this online platform. I would have gone crazy if I had to wait another few weeks for my appointment—your doctor. Online has made it very easy to talk to a virtual doctor. It is very relieving to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve. That mainly occurs at the wrist as it passes into/supplies the palm region of the hand. The median nerve supplies skin of the palmar side of the index finger, middle finger, thumb, half the ring finger, and nail bed. It also supplies the muscles of the thumb. Any condition that causes swelling at the wrist or fluid retention, such as arthritis or diabetes, can lead to nerve compression. Patients present with pain, numbness, difficulty gripping, tingling, and muscle weakness.
Risk factors for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
The risk factors for this syndrome are arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, jobs that require repetitive wrist movements, pregnancy, and smoking.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Some carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include pain in the first three fingers, thumb, wrist, and arm, numbness and tingling, difficulty in gripping, and pins and needles sensation.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Any condition that causes swelling or inflammation at the wrist can lead to median nerve compression. Some conditions closely linked with Carpal Tunnel include diabetes, pregnancy(due to fluid retention), thyroid dysfunction, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and trauma or injury to the wrist.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and tests. First, the doctor carries out a physical exam. After that, special tests to check the median nerve may be done. Along with that, nerve conduction tests are done.
The treatment of the condition depends on the severity of the symptoms.
Some non-surgical treatment options include pain medication or anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, wrist splints, and steroid injections.
A surgical procedure known as carpal tunnel release is performed if there is damage to the median nerve. Cutting the ligament/band at the wrist releases pressure on the nerve.