“Numbness, tingling or pain in the hand, a shocking sensation affecting the thumb and nearby fingers, and pain that radiates toward the shoulder.”
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons lists these as the symptoms for carpal tunnel.
I bet you’re shaking your hand right now wondering if you have it.
We’ve all been there, waking up with a weird feeling and googling what could be wrong with you. If you’re like University sophomore Kelly Strickland, you go from paper cut to amputate really fast.
“My fingers were sore so I googled it and it told me I had carpal tunnel,” says Strickland. “I thought maybe texting a lot and playing golf could’ve caused it. I really thought I was going to have to tell people I got carpal tunnel at 19-years-old.”
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist.
While women are three times more likely to get it than men, carpal tunnel is most common in those who work repetitive jobs requiring intensive hand work. This includes sewing, cleaning and manufacturing, which is not necessarily college students.
So before you think it’s a stroke, Lyme disease or carpal tunnel, consider these possibilities:
Vitamin or mineral deficiency: Vitamin B-12 and vitamin E keeps your nerves healthy and a lack of them could cause numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
Medication side-effects: Certain antibiotics, anticancer, anti-seizure, or heart and blood pressure drugs can cause tingling and numbness as a side-effect.
Drinking too much: Large intakes of alcohol lowers the levels of nutrients and vitamins you need for your nerves, causing numbness. Taking a break from drinking will restore your body’s levels but continued damage can cause permanent nerve damage.
So next time you think you’re dying, look for our latest edition of “No, you’re not dying.”