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Is It Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis?

Home > News > Is It Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis?
Posted: Jan 21, 2021 | by admin | 0 Comment

pexels-energepiccom-110473This Saturday is National Handwriting Day. Though it seems that texting has replaced the tradition of handwriting letters to loved ones, it’s likely you still use longhand for specific tasks. Maybe you still write out grocery lists, or keep track of daily goals in a journal. If you live with joint pain in your hands, however, even the simple act of lifting a pen may prove arduous without proper care. 

It’s also important to know if your discomfort stems from arthritis in the hands or carpal tunnel syndrome. When your hands and wrists hurt, you are concerned with doing whatever it takes to feel better. Nonetheless, when you can confirm your condition with a physician you will be able to apply the proper treatment.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As the name suggests, this condition affects the narrow tunnel that runs through the wrist bones. When the carpal tunnel swells due to injury or other issues, the median nerve that runs from the shoulder to the hand is at risk. Symptoms of carpal tunnel may include:

  • A tingling or burning sensation in the hand, wrist, or arm
  • Numbness in the fingertips
  • Problems moving your hand or wrist

Treatments for carpal tunnel may include medication, splints, or surgery for severe cases. Milder cases may only require periods of rest and icing the affected areas to reduce swelling. During an evaluation, your physician may also examine you to rule out other conditions.


Arthritis in the hand may affect the joints between fingers and in the wrist. The fluid in the joints becomes inflamed and causes stiffness and aching. Without treatment, arthritis may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and further exacerbate your pain.

Whether you enjoy writing by hand, typing and texting, or other hands-on activities, you should do so without pain. At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians can help you determine the condition of your hands, wrists, and arms and provide the proper treatment to improve your quality of life. Contact us today for more information.

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