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I have frequent numbness and tingling in my hands. Is this just aging? It happens when I sleep (sometimes it wakes me up) and it bothers me when I drive a car or hold a telephone. Sometimes I drop things or have trouble with buttons.
This is likely to be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a common nerve compression. The median nerve in your hand is being squeezed and you are feeling the effects.
Jonathan F. Rosenfeld, MD Bryn Mawr Hospital
The best treatment for any nerve compression is to diagnose and remove the source of compression. Nerves do not like being compressed and the symptoms of numbness, tingling, sometimes pain and weakness are very annoying and frustrating. On some occasions the compression can be treated non-operatively. At times, surgery is beneficial in resolving the compression, removing the symptoms, and preventing permanent nerve damage. This surgery is straightforward, minimally invasive, outpatient, and requires little restrictions after surgery.
If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or hand pain you should be evaluated by a hand surgeon, a doctor who specializes in the non-operative and operative treatment of the hand and wrist. Early evaluation can often lead to non-operative treatment, including hand therapy. Obtaining a diagnosis early can also prevent long-term complications by instituting treatment earlier. There are many treatable problems of the hand and wrist that are not “just aging” and can be easily solved with early intervention but may lead to greater disability if ignored.
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Disclaimer-The information provided is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis. We urge you to discuss any current health related problems you are experiencing, or any questions or concerns you may have about your health, with a healthcare professional. The views expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Main Line Health, Inc. or its subsidiaries. Membership on the medical staff of Main Line Hospitals does not constitute employment or agency relationship.