Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Wrist Tendonitis: What's the Difference?
If you've been experiencing wrist pain, you might be wondering whether you have carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist tendonitis. While both conditions can cause similar symptoms, there are some key differences between the two.
In this article, we'll explore those differences and help you figure out which one you might be dealing with.
Below is a breakdown of the two conditions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hand and wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, passageway in the wrist that allows nerves and tendons to pass from the forearm into the hand. When these structures become compressed, they can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and wrist.
People with carpal tunnel often experience these symptoms at night, waking them up from their sleep.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by repetitive motions of the hand and wrist, such as typing or using a mouse. It can also be caused by an injury to the wrist or by conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid problems.
Recent studies also show jobs that require the repetitive use of power tools such as drills and jackhammers, are more like to cause this condition.
You may need a series of treatment options depending on the severity of your condition. For mild cases, conservative methods such as resting the hand and wrist or wearing a splint can provide relief. If these methods don’t work, then steroid injections may be necessary.
Initially, your doctor will try to treat your carpal tunnel without invasive methods, but many serious cases will require surgery.
Wrist tendonitis is a condition that results when the tendons in the wrist become inflamed. Your tendons are surrounded by a layer of lubricated tissue called a tendon sheath.
Overuse of the wrist, repetitive motions, or direct trauma to the area can irritate the sheath, causing inflammation and enlargement. As a result, your tendons can't glide smoothly through the sheath, resulting in pain and compression on the tendons.
Symptoms of wrist tendonitis include pain and tenderness in the wrist, swelling, and reduced range of motion.
Treatment for wrist tendonitis typically involves rest, ice, and pain medication. Like carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may also recommend wrist bracing and steroid injections. But, unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery is not necessary to treat wrist tendonitis.
What’s the Difference?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from compression of the median nerve at the wrist. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and wrist.
Wrist tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the wrist. The symptoms of wrist tendonitis include pain and tenderness in the wrist and forearm.
The two conditions are different, but they can both cause pain and other symptoms in the hand and wrist.
Overall, the most significant difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist tendonitis is that one affects the nerves while the other affects the tendons.
It’s important to remember the difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist tendonitis so that you can better manage your symptoms and find the most effective treatment option.
If you’re experiencing pain in your wrists or hands, be sure to consult with a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, you can find relief from your symptoms and live a pain-free life.