Q: Why do my hands wake me up at night? Why do I have numbness and tingling in my hands?
A: So you finally drift off to sleep, only to awaken in the middle of the night again with that dreaded feeling of your hands on fire! Does it sometimes seem that your hands are falling asleep better than the rest of you? If so, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, or a burning feeling in your hand and fingers caused by pressure on the median nerve. More common in women, carpal tunnel syndrome can be associated with a variety of health conditions, including thyroid problems, diabetes, and pregnancy. Sometimes it is attributed to repetitive activity, although recent studies suggest that keyboard use is not the cause. Leaning your wrists on a keyboard, desk, or cushion, however, can put pressure on your nerve and cause symptoms. Night symptoms are very common because we tend to curl our wrists at night, putting even more pressure on the nerve. For this reason, nighttime wrist splints might help your symptoms. Other treatment options include steroid injections and surgery. Come see one of our hand fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons to find out what treatment options are best for you.