Updated: June 12, 2023
Many people wonder if carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) causes shoulder pain. While the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can radiate up the arm, the short answer is that CTS does not directly affect the shoulder. Carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder problems are two distinct conditions, and it is possible to have one without the other.
CTS mainly affects the hand and wrist, however, if you are experiencing shoulder problems that could be related. It is essential to consult a professional for a proper diagnosis. The team at Ovation Hand Institute has specialized experience caring for patients.
In this article, we will explore the relationship between carpal tunnel syndrome and the shoulder, as well as potential causes of shoulder pain that may be mistaken for or provoked by carpal tunnel syndrome. Luckily, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated.
What Can You Do About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. Once you notice symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers, it is imperative that you don’t ignore them. You can request an evaluation from our providers without a referral to identify the cause of the pain.
For mild cases, doing the following can help patients manage carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Wear a splint at night to keep the wrist in a neutral position.
- Avoid activities that put a strain on the wrist.
- Take breaks, stretch the wrist, and rest your hand regularly.
- Apply ice to the wrist to reduce inflammation.
- Try over-the-counter pain medications that reduce pain and inflammation.
If your symptoms aren’t responding to these measures, take action as quickly as possible. You do not want the median nerve to get compressed for long since it can lead to permanent nerve damage. A hand therapist or an orthopedist might suggest more invasive treatments like physical therapy or surgery. The degree of your symptoms will determine whether you should have surgery.
Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Affect Your Shoulder?
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the wrist and hand, not the shoulder. The shoulder pain is not a result of carpal tunnel syndrome; however, the pain can make you use your other arm excessively, which can, in turn, create shoulder pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes the thumb, index, long, and ring fingers to become numb and tingly when the median nerve is compressed. CTS can occasionally cause numbness, tingling, and discomfort to radiate up your arm, but this generally stops at the elbow. If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or weakness in your shoulder, seeing your doctor will help determine the problem.
Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cause Upper Back Pain?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is not linked to upper back discomfort but to pain and other symptoms in the hand, wrist, and arm. Upper back pain can have many probable causes, such as muscle strain, poor posture, and spinal issues, including ruptured discs or spinal stenosis.
It’s possible that holding your body and arm in various postures while attempting to relieve the discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause of your upper back pain. The same underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, could also cause upper back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have upper back pain and suspect it might be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, it is essential to see a doctor or other medical professional for a proper diagnosis.
What Happens Without Treatment?
If carpal tunnel syndrome is neglected, further complications can develop. They include:
- Weakness in the hand and fingers – If the median nerve is squeezed for a long enough time, it may cause weakness in the hand and finger muscles, making it challenging to grasp objects.
- Loss of hand function – Carpal tunnel syndrome can eventually result in a loss of hand function, making it challenging to carry out daily chores like tying shoelaces.
- Damage to the median nerve – If carpal tunnel syndrome is neglected for a long time, it may result in the hand and fingers being permanently numb and tingly.
Why Choose Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Ovation Hand Institute?
There are various benefits to choosing Ovation Hand Institute for your carpal tunnel surgery – some of the reasons why you should opt for our ultra-minimally invasive procedure include:
- We use an ultra-minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require a surgical incision or stitches, thus ensuring faster recuperation.
- Unlike traditional surgical procedures with significant side effects, this treatment technique relieves the pressure on the median nerve with minimal side effects.
- Our ultra-minimal invasive technique does not injure the tissue or nerves. It does not require a surgical incision or stitches, ensuring a faster recovery. This means that many patients can return to work in 1-2 days.
- The technique is safe and effective. Over 2,000 successful surgeries have demonstrated the technique’s safety and efficacy.
Book a Consultation Today with Ovation Hand Institute
Are you looking for the best surgical remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome? Ovation Hand Institute offers individuals with CTS a less invasive treatment option. To find out more about how we can help, book a consultation with Ovation Hand Institute today.
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