Carpal Tunnel or Fibromyalgia?
Many people tell me about the pain in their hands, wrists and arms. Not surprisingly, I’m always asked if they have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel symptoms overlap a little. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is not simple. However, determining if the problem is carpal tunnel instead is much easier. Moreover, it’s important for doctors to understand one important fact. That is, a patient can have both conditions at the same time.
Carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia have different symptoms
For a doctor to determine you have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia is relatively easy. That’s because the two conditions have very few symptoms in common. Generally, the main common symptom is pain. However, carpal tunnel’s signs are more narrow and well-defined. In contrast, fibromyalgia is usually associated with a wide array of less defined signs.
Usually, fibromyalgia symptoms vary greatly from person to person. For instance, some people have only a few or minor symptoms. However, others can have several or more intense symptoms. The intensity varies widely. It can range from annoying to incapacitating. Finally, up to 90% of fibromyalgia occurs in women.
Generally, people with fibromyalgia have pain all over the body. Also, they feel very tired most of the time. These symptoms force patents to limit their activities. Generally, fibromyalgia sufferers also have difficulty concentrating. Many have symptoms so severe that they must change jobs.
The following is a list of fibromyalgia’s primary symptoms. It starts with the most common.
- Pain (and tender points)
- General fatigue
- Sleeping problems
- Memory and concentration problems (“fibro fog”)
- Depression or anxiety
- Morning stiffness
- Numbness and tingling in hands, arms, feet and legs
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Urinary problems
- Painful menstrual cramps
Unfortunately, there are no lab tests to confirm fibromyalgia. Rather, your doctor will rule out other conditions like arthritis. Excluding other conditions is why determining whether or not its carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia is relatively easy to do.
Additionally, because a proper diagnosis of fibromyalgia excludes other problems, it often takes months to conclude. This delay is partly because sufferers are frequently misunderstood. Indeed, oftentimes they’re considered complainers. In fact, friends, family, and even caregivers often believe the person is not really sick, but just exaggerating.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
In contrast to fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel symptoms are much easier to identify. This is why a carpal tunnel doctor can easily determine if you have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia.
Like fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel in women is more common. In fact, it’s actually a women’s health issue. The hallmark of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, numbness or tingling. It happens in the fingers, hand or wrist. Sometimes the pain shoots up the arm to the elbow.
Other carpal tunnel symptoms include the following in the hand, fingers or wrist:
- Hand weakness and loss of grip strength
- Hand and finger clumsiness
Usually, the thumb has more intense symptoms. However, the little (pinky) finger never shows signs. Finally, a doctor can perform a carpal tunnel test to show if you have this condition. The test aims to reproduce your symptoms with pushing and tapping. It’s highly reliable and better than other tests when done properly.
Carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia or both?
About 5% of the population has carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, about 5% of the population has fibromyalgia. Thus, there’s a chance you can have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia – or both at the same time.
Thus, doctors should be cautioned that a patient’s pain diagnosis. It should never be a “one or the other” conclusion. Moreover, teasing out the carpal tunnel diagnosis from fibromyalgia is important. That’s because each condition must be properly treated.
Interestingly, an overlapping treatment for carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia is myofascial release massage. With carpal tunnel, it’s focused on the wrist joint. However, with fibromyalgia, it’s focused wherever the pain is.
It’s relatively easy for a doctor to tell if you have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia. Some symptoms overlap, particularly pain. However, carpal tunnel has very specific pain signs. In contract, fibromyalgia is more diffuse. Generally, fibromyalgia is also associated with other symptoms. Nonetheless, a patient can have both symptoms at the same time.
Two 15 minute Carpal Rx treatments
for 30 days cures symptoms in
97% of carpal tunnel patients.
About 15 years ago my wife was waking up during the wee hours screaming from carpal tunnel pain.
This isn’t an exaggerating. She’d literally scream from the pain shooting up through her wrist and into her shoulder. The poor thing still shudders when she thinks about it.
I knew she had carpal tunnel syndrome. And being a physiologist, I knew how to treat her. I’m skilled in a physical therapy technique called myofascial release. It’s a type of massage with an excellent track record for completely curing carpal tunnel symptoms.
So I’d massage her arm until the pain subsided and we could both go back to sleep. But her pain was so severe that she insisted on wanting surgery. It was so bad that she was afraid to go sleep at night.
I was dead-set against surgery because I knew myofascial release was a much better option. I made a bargain with her. Give me 30 days to cure her symptoms using massage and if it didn’t work – I’d go along with the surgery.
She agreed and I got busy in the lab. I hodgepodged together the first Carpal Rx prototype. Using it before bed for 15 minutes, she was able to sleep through the night by the 2nd day.
Carpal Rx, born out of love & compassion.
Dr. Z invented Carpal Rx to cure his wife’s symptoms so she didn’t have to undergo surgery.