Author: Burt Faibisoff, M.D., FRCS (C)
Struggling with wrist pain? Your first instinct might be that it’s carpal tunnel. But be warned – carpal tunnel myths abound. Before talking to your physician about carpal tunnel release surgery, take a moment to read up on six of the most common carpal tunnel myths. You might be surprised!
#1 Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of computer usage.
Not necessarily true. Dr. Barry Simmons writes, “Probably 90 percent of carpal tunnel syndrome is idiopathic – nobody knows why it occurs.” While it’s possible to develop carpal tunnel syndrome from heavy computer usage, many light computer users also develop this condition.
#2 Carpal tunnel and arthritis are unrelated.
Again, false. While arthritis has not been proven to cause CTS, carpal tunnel pain can be worsened by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
#3 Being physically active will prevent CTS.
Regular exercise will help improve virtually every health condition. However, be careful considering what types of physical activity you’ll participate in. Sports that place pressure directly on the wrist (e.g. cycling and gymnastics) can actually increase your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
#4 “I’ll know if I have CTS, because I’ll feel it in my wrist.”
This is one of the biggest carpal tunnel myths. CTS affects the median nerve, which runs from the hand all the way up to the shoulder. Some people may experience the worst CTS pain in their neck or shoulder – not the wrist.
#5 Carpal tunnel only flares up while using the wrist.
False. Many people with CTS first notice symptoms at night while the hands are at rest.
#6 “Once I get carpal tunnel syndrome, my wrist will never be the same.”
Fortunately, this is another carpal tunnel myth. If diagnosed and treated early enough, your wrist can be normal again through carpal tunnel release surgery. If you’re concerned you may have CTS, call Four Peaks Plastic Surgery today at 480-257-2670.
Want to separate some more carpal tunnel myths from facts? Schedule a free consultation with Four Peaks Plastic Surgery.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.