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Do You Really Have CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)?

Don’t be so quick to self-diagnose. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome produces a variety of symptoms that range from mild to extreme. Usually the discomfort worsens over time.

But it’s entirely possible that you have something else.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) patients report numbness, tingling and burning sensations in their thumb and fingers. Pain also can develop in the arm and shoulder. Swelling of the hand increases at night.

However, diagnosis can be difficult since so many other conditions mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One of the most common includes “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome,” which is the compression of nerves or blood vessels in the brachial plexus – the nerve fibers running from the spine through the neck, armpit and into the arm.

Another is “Cubital Outlet Syndrome,” the compression of a key nerve in the elbow. Also high on the list of conditions which mimic Carpel Tunnel Syndrome(CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS))  are tendinitis and arthritis.

Then, there’s “Guyon’s Canal Syndrome,” which is similar. It, too, results from overuse of the wrist from heavy gripping, twisting, and repeated wrist and hand motions. It can also happen from working with the hand constantly bent down and outward. It occurs in weight-lifters, jackhammer operators and people using crutches.

The symptoms should sound familiar.

The sufferer has the sensation of pins and needles in the ring and little fingers, often in the early morning. As the problem worsens, it may develop into a burning pain in the hand and wrist, followed by numbness in the affected fingers. The patient may become weak and clumsy when trying to pinch the thumb and forefinger or spread all five fingers.

Then there are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fiber myalgia. None of them should be ignored. Untreated lupus can lead to kidney failure. Untreated rheumatoid arthritis will worsen with serious damage to joints and bones.

Rheumatoid arthritis’ symptoms include tenderness and swelling around the joints – as well as increasing pain, fever, redness, fatigue and weight loss.

Lupus has many of the same warning signs, particularly joint pain. However, lupus patients also experience facial rashes, mouth sores, bruising, chest pain and breathing difficulty. Other diseases that mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, dislocations and gout.




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