CTS involves symptoms including:
- Tingling & burning
All of those are also symptoms of fibromyalgia. (However, the types of weakness experienced are different.)
Researchers say testing uncovered CTS in a disproportionately high number of people with fibromyalgia, leading them to conclude that it's under diagnosed, likely because of the similarity of symptoms.
- Video: What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
- About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Screening Quiz
I'm glad researchers are looking into the possible connection between these two conditions. Because CTS involves nerve damage, it seems like it could be a possible risk factor for causing hypersensitivity in the central nervous system, which is central to fibromyalgia. I can also see how CTS symptoms could be overlooked because of fibromyalgia.
I had CTS in college, long before fibromyalgia entered my life. However, I do frequently wonder if arm and hand pain, numbness and weakness are CTS raising its head. On clumsy days, when I drop everything I pick up, it reminds me of the days when empty glasses would fall through my grasp and I didn't have the finger strength to push buttons on the remote.
If you have burning, tingling, numbness or other odd nerve sensations (called paresthesias) in your hands along with pain, and especially if it's worse at night, talk to your doctor. The good news is that many cases of CTS can be effectively treated. The bad news is that, left untreated, it can cause degeneration in your arms that may lead to permanent disability.
For me, physical and occupational therapy and wearing braces a lot got me back to functional and with only minor pain. And remember, quieting down other sources of pain can help ease your fibromyalgia symptoms, too.
Do you have a lot of pain in your arms? What about paresthesias? Do you or have you had CTS? Leave your comments below!
Photo © A.D.A.M.