Read how Your Doctors Online helped Lily reach a diagnosis for her symptoms.
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. I am a florist by profession and very passionate about my work. 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 as 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, but soon I started experiencing wrist weakness. Mainly I couldn’t grip the scissors with my index finger and the thumb and kept dropping things.
I was afraid that I was developing an autoimmune condition such as MS!
Since the symptoms refused to disappear, I had myself convinced that I had developed an autoimmune condition, multiple sclerosis. The fear had mentally paralyzed me, and I kept hoping that my symptoms would disappear on their own, miraculously. Finally, I came to terms with reality and accepted that the only way to find out was to get myself evaluated. I made an appointment with my primary care physician. To my disappointment, I couldn’t get an appointment soon enough. 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; Dr Farrukh greeted me and waited 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. I further elaborated that my pain was worsening and interfering with my sleep.
After listening to me, she asked me to perform a small test.
She 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 followed her instructions and said 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, which supplied that particular part of the hand.
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. She also told me to take painkillers and wear a wrist splint for now to manage symptoms. Also, she told me there were other treatment options, such as steroid injections, to provide relief. However, the management would depend on my symptoms and their progression. In some cases, surgery is required.
I am glad that I opted for this online platform instead of miserably waiting another few weeks for my appointment. Your Doctors. Online has made it very easy to talk to a virtual doctor. It is very 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, mainly 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, diabetes and hypertension, 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 resulting in Carpal Tunnel syndrome. 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, plus special tests to check the median nerve. 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.