I’m experiencing numbness when I try to hold small objects like my phone. Is this a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome?

hand holding cell phone carpal tunnel painNumbness or a feeling of weakness in your hands when holding small objects such as a cellphone is a classic sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can make many everyday activities difficult to perform, but effective treatment options are available.

How Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Affects Fine Motor Skills

The carpal tunnel is a narrow region in your wrist located on the side of the palm. It protects the median nerve, but sometimes there can be too much pressure in this area. The compression of the median nerve leads to the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The median nerve controls your thumb, which is why it can be difficult to grasp small objects when you have carpal tunnel syndrome. You may notice trouble holding your phone first since this is something that you’re likely to do many times throughout the day. However, as your condition progresses, other simple tasks might become more difficult. Some examples of activities that might be hard to do with carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Opening a bottle of juice or milk
  • Chopping vegetables to make a salad
  • Gripping the steering wheel of your car
  • Holding a pen or pencil
  • Buttoning up a dress shirt
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Applying makeup

As your condition progresses, you may find that you feel clumsy and struggle to tell where your hands are in relation to objects. This is called proprioception.

Getting Treatment

Not being able to complete simple tasks on your own is understandably frustrating. Carpal tunnel release can help you restore your independence.

You may be reluctant to consider carpal tunnel syndrome surgery because of the long recovery time associated with traditional open surgery or an endoscopic procedure. However, ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release typically requires a recovery time of just three to six days. Since there’s normally no need for follow-up physical therapy, this is an effective way to help you get back to making the most of each day. Contact our Towson office to learn if this procedure might be the right choice for addressing your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.