Healthwatch: Carpal tunnel syndrome

Does your alarm go off in the morning and you feel numbness in your hand? Do you know what that could be a sign of? Dr. Nancy Babbitt fills you in.

Dr. Nancy Babbitt say, ' If you ever wake up with your hand feeling like it fell asleep or you are intermittently getting episodes where your fingers or hands feel numb you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a large nerve that runs through your wrist becomes compressed and that nerve supplies sensation to your thumb, first two fingers, and half of your ring finger. So if you are noticing that those fingers in particular are involved you probably do have carpal tunnel syndrome. It's more common in women than men and to diagnose it you just need to go to your family doctor and generally it can be diagnosed based on history of the occurrence and your physical exam. The best way to treat this if it's mild and intermittent it to use anti-inflammatories you can purchase over the counter and wear a carpal tunnel wrist split that you buy at any pharmacy if that's not working, then the next step is usually some type of steroid injection and if that is still persisting often a times a test called a nerve conjunction story can be ordered and you will be referred to a surgeon to have surgery. Don't delay this surgery is a really wonderful and easy way to relive carpal tunnel syndrome. If you let it go too long you are having chronic finger and hand numbness you can get permanent nerve damage of the median nerve. So if you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome make sure to talk to your family doctor. This is Dr. Nancy Babbitt from Creekside Medical Clinic.