- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndome
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Meralgia Paresthetica
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of numbness and pain in the hands. Although it is often associated with repetitive movements of the hands, such as typing, carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by many things.
The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Numbness, tingling and pain in the hand
A feeling of electric shock, especially in the thumb, index and middle fingers
Strange sensations and pain running down the arm and up toward the shoulder
For most people, carpal tunnel syndrome will progressively get worse if some type of treatment is not done. The condition could, however, be modified or stopped in the early stages. For example, if the symptoms are definitely related to an activity or occupation, the condition may not advance if the occupation or activity is interrupted or modified.
Cubital Tunnel Syndome
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that involves pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve (also known as the “funny bone” nerve), which can cause numbness or tingling in the ring and small fingers, pain in the forearm, and/or weakness in the hand. The ulnar nerve (Figure 1) runs in a groove on the inner side of the elbow.
Cubital tunnel syndrome can cause pain, loss of sensation, tingling and/or weakness. “Pins and needles” usually are felt in the ring and small fingers. These symptoms are often felt when the elbow is bent for a long period of time, such as while holding a phone or while sleeping. Some people feel weak or clumsy.
The first treatment is to avoid actions that cause symptoms. Wrapping a pillow or towel loosely around the elbow or wearing a splint at night to keep the elbow from bending can help. Avoiding leaning on the “funny bone” can also help. A hand therapist can help you find ways to avoid pressure on the nerve.
Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Radial tunnel syndrome causes dull aching pain at the top of the forearm, to the outside of the elbow, or the back of the hand. Patients less often describe the pain as cutting, piercing, or stabbing. It happens most often when the person straightens his or her wrist or fingers.
Radial tunnel syndrome can cause fatigue and weakness in the forearm muscles and weakness in the wrist.
Radial tunnel syndrome affects the muscles, not the nerves, so it does not cause tingling or numbness in the arm, wrist, or fingers.
ess this immediately and improve the posture.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS), also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Pain and tingling in and around ankles and sometimes the toes
- Swelling of the feet and ankle area.
- Painful burning, tingling, or numb sensations in the lower legs. Pain worsens and spreads after standing for long periods; pain is worse with activity and is relieved by rest.
- Electric shock sensations
Treatments typically include rest, manipulation, strengthening of tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, peroneus and short toe flexors, casting with a walker boot, corticosteroid and anesthetic injections, hot wax baths, wrapping, compression hose, and orthotics. Medications may include various anti-inflammatories such as Anaprox, or other medications such as Ultracet, Neurontin and Lyrica. Lidocaine patches are also a treatment that helps some patients.
Occipital neuralgia is a condition in which the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp, called the occipital nerves, are inflamed or injured. You might feel pain in the back of your head or the base of your skull.
Occipital neuralgia can cause intense pain that feels like a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include:
- Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp
- Pain on one or both sides of the head
- Pain behind the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Tender scalp
- Pain when you move your neck
Peripheral neuropathy, the result of a peripheral nerve injury, often causes weakness, numbness or insensitivity and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other parts of the body.
Each nerve of the peripheral nervous system has a specific function; therefore, the type of nerve affected will determine the symptom that is experienced. Classification of nerves:
Sensory nerves: are responsible for perceiving sensations, such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch, from the periphery (skin)
Nerves motor: are responsible for controlling muscle movements
Autonomic nerves: are responsible for controlling functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder
The best way to prevent peripheral neuropathy is to control medical conditions that put you at risk, such as diabetes, alcoholism or rheumatoid arthritis.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic opening syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between the clavicle and the first rib (chest opening) are compressed. This can cause pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness in the fingers.
There are several types of thoracic opening syndrome (thoracic operculum syndrome), including the following:
- Neurogenic (neurological) thoracic opening syndrome. This form of thoracic outlet syndrome is characterized by compression of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that originate in the spinal cord and control muscle movements and sensitivity of the shoulder, arm and hand. In most cases of thoracic outlet syndrome the symptoms are neurogenic.
- Thoracic vascular opening syndrome. This type of thoracic opening syndrome occurs when one or more veins (venous thoracic outlet syndrome) or arteries (arterial thoracic opening syndrome) are compressed below the clavicle.
- Non-specific thoracic opening syndrome. This type is also known as doubtful thoracic opening syndrome. Some doctors consider that it does not exist, while others say it is a frequent disorder. People with non-specific thoracic opening syndrome experience pain in the area of the thoracic opening that is aggravated by activity, but a specific cause of pain can not be determined.
The thoracic opening syndrome that is not treated for years can cause permanent neurological damage; therefore, it is important that you evaluate your symptoms and treat them early, or take steps to prevent the disorder.
Meralgia paraesthetica is a disease characterized by tingling, numbness and burning on the outside of the thigh. The cause of meralgia paraesthetica is the compression of the nerve that provides sensitivity to the surface of the skin of the thigh.
The pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which provides sensitivity to the upper part of the thigh, can cause the following symptoms of meralgia paresthetica:
Tingling and numbness in the outer (lateral) part of the thigh
Burning on the surface of the outer part of the thigh
Often, these symptoms occur on one side of the body and may be intensified after walking or standing