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Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?

 

June 12, 2019

HARVARD TRAINED PAIN DOCTORS | VOTED #1 PAIN CENTER | PAIN TREATMENT SPECIALISTS

Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  The Connection  Between your Wrist and Shoulder

The simple and short answer is yes, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause shoulder pain. To understand the connection between your wrist and shoulder, you need to understand a few facts about your physiology.

There is a nerve in your body that extends from your finger-tips through your wrist up your arm into your shoulder and neck. It is called the Median Nerve. Often your nerve trouble is a result of a pinched nerve in the carpal tunnel in your wrist. And yes, the pain from this pinch can reach up into your shoulder and the nerve in your neck.

Your carpal tunnel is a passageway or narrow tunnel-like structure that is composed of bones and ligaments on the inside of your wrist, through which your median nerve passes. Although a pinched nerve can happen anywhere in your body, one of the most common areas for a pinched nerve is in the carpal tunnel.

 

Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  Symptoms

There are some good indicators of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Pain that is located anywhere from your index and middle fingers to your elbow, to your shoulders to your neck.
  • Itching, burning tingling or numbness that is located anywhere from your index and middle fingers to your elbow, to your shoulders to your neck.
  • Frequent dropping of items.
  • Weakness in your grip.
  • Cramping in your hands.

Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  Causes

The most common cause of your condition can originate from many different activities, but they are all related to overuse of the wrist joint.

  • The overuse can be a result of playing an instrument, using a computer, use fine motor movements such as in dentistry, and painting with a brush or roller. If the activity takes place when your hands are lower than your wrists the likelihood of a pinched nerve increases. Almost any activity that you do with your hands on a daily basis can be the source of the problem.
  • A second source of your pain can be a condition such as hypothyroidism, overweight, arthritis, and diabetes.
  • A third source that can cause this condition is pregnancy. Although it is common for symptoms to diminish after several months after delivery.
Have you ever wondered “how do you treat a rotator cuff injury?” We review the best treatment options. We explain what type of doctor can help you if home remedies fail and how to decide if surgery is necessary.

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Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  Home Remedies

  • Lifestyle Changes: You can stop doing the activity that is causing you pain. Or you can learn how to do these activities differently to reduce the strain on your wrist.
  • Frequent Breaks: take breaks when using the wrist that is causing you pain.
  • Relieve some of the strain by stretching your muscles. You can stretch many parts of your upper body to reduce wrist, shoulder and neck pain.
  • Take over the counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Use a cold pack to reduce the swelling in the area.
  • Wear a brace to keep your wrist straight during the day.
  • Wear a brace at night.

Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  Diagnosis

The exact cause of pain can be challenging to diagnose. However, an accurate diagnosis is critical for your recovery. Your expert physician at a pain treatment clinic will examine your wrist, neck and back for any indication of the source of your pain. He or she may also ask you to move in certain ways to determine if the pain increases. Several imagining techniques can also be informative in identifying the source of your pain. These include X-ray, ultrasound and MRI. Once the cause of your pain has been determined you pain doctor will suggest a combination of therapies to alleviate your condition.

Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain?  Medical Solutions

Once your diagnosis is precise, your pain doctor in New York or pain doctor in New Jersey will be able to suggest several methods to help you with your pain

  • Prescription Medications: Your physician will prescribe stronger pain and anti-inflammatory medications than are available over the counter. These medications will allow you to continue with stretches and muscle building exercises that will alleviate your pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Your physical therapist will consult with your pain doctor to determine the best course of care. He or she will help you learn some stretching exercises that can be continued at home to accelerate your recovery. The therapy may extend to your neck and shoulders too. Your physical therapist will also have some suggestions for changing the way in which you complete your daily activities. You may need to wear brace or splint or to change your approach to everyday activities to alleviate the chronic strain in the area.
  • Injection Therapy: The best way to get rid of shoulder pain without unnecessary medication or complicated surgeries, is with injection therapy. 

Recovery Expectations for Surgery

Your recovery period will involve these average timelines, if you follow through with your physical therapy exercises. You will be able to drive within a few days of surgery. You will be able to write within a week. You will need 4 to 6 weeks before writing will feel less cumbersome. Within 6 to 10 weeks you will regain your strength. With severe cases you will need a year of recovery before your full strength will return.

Key Concepts

  • The Median nerve stretches from your fingers and all the way up your arm to your shoulders and neck. Pain can radiate from anywhere along your nerve, if there is a pinch along the way.
  • The carpal tunnel area is on the inside of your wrist. The medial nerve moves through a tunnel of bones and ligaments. Any constriction in this area can cause a pinched nerve that results in your pain.
  • A Pain Treatment Center will diagnose the cause of your pain and suggest non-invasive medical treatments to counter your pain.

Meet our

Board Certified Team

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Medtronic
TripleBoardCertified
CoE

George Hanna MD

Director of Pain Management | Double Board Certified


Pain Management
Anesthesiology

Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital


Dr. George Hanna is a nationally recognized pain management specialist and double Board Certified in anesthesiology and pain management medicine.
Dr. Hanna is currently available at Pain Treatment Specialists in Manhattan and Clifton, NJ.

Namrata Khimani MD

DOUBLE BOARD CERTIFIED | NEW YORK PAIN Specialist


Pain Management
Venous Medicine

Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Columbia: NY Presbyterian Hospital


Dr. Namrata Khimani is a leader in the field of pain medicine. She is one of a select number of physicians who have passed the rigorous certification process to become a nationally recognized pain specialist by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Born and raised in New York, Dr. Khimani earned her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School with honors.

Michael Nguyen MD

TRIPLE Board CERTIFIED | NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY pain specialist


Pain Management
Venous Medicine
Aesthetics

Harvard Medical School
Brigham & Women’s Hospital


Dr. Michael Nguyen is world renowned in Pain Medicine. Dr. Michael completed his residency and advanced Pain fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at Harvard, Dr. Michael was awarded the “Mentor of the Year” and also “Teacher of the Year” award. After graduating, Dr. Michael taught for two years at Harvard – training new graduates on the latest modern advances in interventional pain management for multiple pain ailments.

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Meet our Board Certified team

Dr. Khimani - New York Best Pain Management Specialist
pain management doctors
pain doctor near me

George
Hanna MD

Double Board Certified
Director of Pain Management
Harvard Medical School
Dr. George Hanna is a nationally recognized pain management specialist and Double Board Certified in anesthesiology and pain management medicine. Dr. Hanna is currently available at Pain Treatment Specialists in Manhattan. He is now accepting most major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Read more >>

Namrata
Khimani MD

Double Board Certified
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Namrata Khimani is a nationally recognized leader in the field of pain medicine. She is one of a select number of physicians who have passed the rigorous certification process to become a nationally recognized pain specialist by the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Read more >>

Michael
Nguyen MD

Triple Board Certified
Harvard Medical SChool

Dr. Michael Nguyen is world renowned in Pain Medicine. Dr. Nguyen completed his residency and advanced Pain fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at Harvard, Dr. Nguyen was awarded the “Mentor of the Year” and also “Teacher of the Year” award. After finishing at Harvard, Dr. Michael Nguyen taught for two years at Harvard – training new graduates on the latest modern advances in interventional pain management for multiple pain ailments.
Read more >>
Can Carpal Tunnel Cause Shoulder Pain? | Ask the Expert ultima modifica: 2019-01-11T16:52:34-05:00 da VA
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