Is It Arthritis or Carpal Tunnel?

Did you know that arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome can bring on the same symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish the difference between the two? But since they often require different types of treatments, it is important to make sure you are properly diagnosed.

What exactly is arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome?

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints causing pain and often affecting the joints in your hand and wrist. This can worsen with age and cause stiffness, swelling, tenderness and reduce mobility. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist causing numbness and tingling in the hand. This usually affects your thumb and first 2 or 3 fingers, but not your pinky finger.

Arthritis can increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Even through arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system, it can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Both conditions can have long term impacts, which is why it is crucial to be diagnosed correctly to get the proper treatment as soon as possible.

There are different causes and treatments for both conditions.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is known to be painful at night and it will often wake you up, causing the pain to be worse in the morning. The pain can sometimes extend all the way up to your forearm and is triggered by driving, holding a phone or repetitive motion. It is treatable with medications, physical therapy treatments or if severe enough, will need carpal tunnel surgery Phoenix AZ. Arthritis is usually only treated with medications and some physical treatments. Also with arthritis, the pain could be in other joints in your body as well.