Read how Your Doctors Online helped Lily determine the cause behind her left wrist pain, numbness and difficulty in 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 putting up decorative 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 that 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 the 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 had myself convinced that I had developed an autoimmune condition, multiple sclerosis. The fear had mentally paralysed 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 symptoms of left wrist pain, numbness, and difficulty gripping were worsening. Therefore, I looked online for consultations.
I signed up for an online platform to discuss my left wrist pain, numbness and difficulty in gripping.
The process of 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 out in front of 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 told her that I felt pain and tingling. She then stated that my symptoms were due to a condition called 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 that there were 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 Doctors. 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 the 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. Resultantly, patients present with pain, numbness, difficulty gripping, tingling and muscle weakness.
Risk factors for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
● High blood pressure
● Jobs that require repetitive wrist movements
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
● Pain in the first three fingers, thumb, wrist and arm
● Difficulty in gripping
● Pins and needles sensation
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Any condition that causes swelling or inflammation at the wrist can lead to compression of the median nerve. Some of the conditions closely linked with Carpal Tunnel include:
● Pregnancy(due to fluid retention)
● Thyroid dysfunction
● Trauma/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.
● Pain medication/anti-inflammatories
● Physical therapy
● Wrist splints
● 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.