If you’re feeling pain or discomfort in your wrist area, there’s a very good chance that there’s a pinched nerve in the wrist. It’s hard to say for sure without a proper diagnosis from a specialist, but this article can serve as your guide to at least give you an idea on what you’re dealing with. If you feel that you’re suffering from it, read on so that you’ll know everything there is to know about this condition.
What is It?
Just as the name implies, your nerve in the area is being pinched. There is an injury or damage to a single nerve or even a few of them.
What Causes it?
It can be caused by an injury. In addition, it can be caused by something as simple as stretching. Constriction and compression can also lead to a pinched nerve in the wrist.
In most cases, this condition is brought upon by carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, these two conditions are almost always together. One can be caused by the other.
Why is the nerve pinched? There’s usually swelling around the affected area. This swelling can be brought upon by an injury like a sprain or a dislocation. This is why this is a very common occurrence in the workplace or in sports. Bruising can also lead to the pinching. In some cases, pregnant women can also experience it as they experience swelling due to the pregnancy.
It can also be caused by your family history. If there’s a history of the same condition in your family, your chances of experiencing it increases.
What Should You Do?
Nerves play an important part in your body. They’re responsible for bringing messages to and from the brain. Remember, these nerves are responsible for just about everything that your body does, including movement and the use of your senses.
This is why you need to be diagnosed as early as possible. It’s very important to prevent complications. A pinched nerve in the wrist may seem like a simple issue, especially considering the fact that it’s usually not that painful, but it can lead to further damages.
You can try to see if resting can make a difference. Most cases can be solved with proper rest. Over the counter pain relievers may also help you deal with the pain. Applying ice over the affected area is also recommended.
If the symptoms last for several days and things don’t improve even after rest and medication, go ahead and see your doctor.
How to Get a Diagnosis
You need to be seen a specialist so book an appointment now. While waiting for your appointment with the doctor, you can make a self-diagnosis. This is because the doctor will ask a lot of questions regarding the symptoms, so it’s a good idea to know the answers to the questions beforehand.
What exactly are you feeling? This condition usually leads to the feeling of numbness. You may also feel a burning sensation or the feeling of being pricked by needles. Sometimes, pain may also radiate from the wrist towards the areas surrounding it. You may also feel the weakening of your muscles in the areas supported by the pinched nerve.
If there’s only one pinched nerve, you may also get the feeling that you get if your hand falls asleep.
Once you’ve determined that you’re suffering from the symptoms, you also need to check your family history. Again, if someone in your family experienced it before, it increases your chances of experiencing it. It’s time to start asking around if anyone in your family experienced it.
What to Expect at the Doctor’s Office
Here are the things that will happen in your appointment in order to be properly diagnosed for your pinched nerve:
- The doctor will ask you questions regarding the symptoms. This is where you can explain what you’re feeling.
- He or she will ask about your family history. Make sure to divulge the information being asked so that the professional will know if your family history is a consideration.
- The specialist will conduct a physical exam, particularly on the affected area. He or she will touch the affected areas and may even apply pressure so you can explain to him or her what you’re feeling. The specialist will also check for any deformities.
- Depending on the result of the procedures listed above, the specialist may also recommend that you undergo specific tests. These include x-rays, electromyography or a nerve conduction study. In some cases, an MRI scan may also be ordered.
What Happens After the Diagnosis?
Is surgery an option? Yes, in some cases, surgery is required. Needless to say, this is only for extreme cases of a pinched nerve. Usually, the doctor will just tell you to continue to rest and icing the affected area. But if you’ve already done these things and symptoms are not improving, physiotherapy can be recommended by the specialist. A splint may also be utilized.
The specialist will also tell you to modify your activities. As mentioned, rest is very important and this is why you need to modify your activities to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the affected area.
As you can see, treatment is often conservative. You don’t really have to worry, although it’s still recommended that you consult with a specialist.
What’s the Outlook?
You’ll be happy to know that most patients respond positively to these conservative treatments. Most of them went back to their normal life, even without surgery. They were able to recover completely without feeling the symptoms anymore.
This can also be your outlook as long as you get a proper diagnosis and you follow the recommendations of the specialist. As you can see, you don’t have to live a life suffering from the symptoms of pinched nerve. You just need to get a diagnosis right now, follow the conservative treatments recommended, and soon enough, you won’t be feeling the symptoms anymore.