4 Signs Your Wrist Pain May Be Carpal Tunnel

4 Signs Your Wrist Pain May Be Carpal Tunnel

You’re experiencing pain in your hand. You haven’t been in an accident. What’s causing this unexplained symptom? 

Our board-certified orthopaedic surgeons with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are the experts you want to see for musculoskeletal problems. We provide prompt diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan based on your particular circumstance. Pain, burning, or tingling in your hand may signify carpal tunnel syndrome

Demystifying carpal tunnel syndrome   

With carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve in your arm is compressed. Any time a nerve experiences abnormal pressure, you’ll feel pain, sometimes along with other symptoms. 

Your median nerve runs from your shoulder down your arm and into your hand. As it moves from your arm to your hand, it travels through your wrist in a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. If the soft tissue in your hand is irritated or inflamed, the nerve can become compressed if there’s not enough room in the tunnel to function. 

Common signs of carpal tunnel syndrome 

Wrist pain and pain in your fingers can come from various conditions. Following are four signs your wrist pain is likely carpal tunnel syndrome:  

Burning pain in your hand, fingers, or thumb

Sharp, burning pain in your hand, thumb, or first three fingers is one of the ubiquitous signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. Do you frequently make repetitive movements with your hands, such as keyboarding for hours while working? 

Repetitive motion injuries occur in many jobs and sports when you use muscles, tendons, and ligaments repeatedly without giving them proper rest. Your carpal tunnel could have developed from this type of injury. On the other hand, you may already have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your hand; these conditions can contribute to carpal tunnel. 

Tingling in the fingers/arm

Are you experiencing tingling in your thumb or first three fingers? If the tingling isn’t occurring in your little finger but exists in the others, you likely have carpal tunnel. That’s because your median nerve controls the movement of your thumb and first three fingers, but not your pinky finger. Your tingling may run up into your arm, as well. 


If your first three fingers, thumb, or part of your hand are numb, you could have carpal tunnel. With the tingling symptom, if those parts of your hand are unresponsive, but your little finger is not, that’s a cue that the problem is likely carpal tunnel. 

Weakness in the fingers and hand 

Is it difficult for you to grip a paintbrush, tennis racquet, or coffee cup? A common sign of carpal tunnel is weakness in your hands, making it difficult for you to grasp objects. 

Why early treatment for carpal tunnel is key

Don’t ignore pain — your body is telling you something is amiss. If you wait to seek treatment until the pain, tingling, or numbness is very severe, you could sustain permanent nerve or muscle damage. Intermittent pain can worsen dramatically, causing poor sleep quality and leading to other health problems. 

If you have unexplained musculoskeletal pain, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today for a consultation at one of our offices in Memphis, Arizona, or Collierville, Tennessee.

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