Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis

Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis

Years ago, it was thought in general by patients that carpal tunnel was caused by typing too much. Studies have shown that this is not true. What most are suffering from is tendonitis, and it’s getting worse from the tiny handheld computers that most of now have; as a result, the cases of wrist and thumb tendonitis are on the rise.

We can understand the confusion that patients have self-diagnosing themselves with carpal tunnel syndrome since carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist and thumb tendonitis has such similar symptoms.

Texting Tendonitis

What are the differences between carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis?

Carpal Tunnel

  • Carpal tunnel is caused by the median nerve when the wrist becomes compressed.
  • It can cause wrist and wrist muscle pain.
  • It can cause weakness and tingling of the fingers.
  • It can cause tightness and pain in the forearm, wrist, and hand.
  • Carpal tunnel can also cause numbness in the palm and fingers.
  • It also can cause burning, swelling, or itching sensation.
  • Pain will start gradually in one or both hands.


  • Tendonitis is from overuse.
  • Tendonitis does have many of the above symptoms that carpal tunnel syndrome has except itching and pain starting gradually.
  • Unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, the pain from tendonitis will be tender directly over the affected tendon.

Both carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis have varieties of severity. Since tendonitis is on the rise and the most avoidable, we suggest these three simple tips to avoid it:

  • Talk to text whenever you can. It will help you cut down on the amount of time your thumbs are moving. (Remember to proofread before you push send.)
  • Put your phone away when you are not using it, so you are not tempted to pick it up when you don’t need to.
  • Do exercises that stretch your tendons that are affected. (Ask doctor which are the safest for your condition.)
  • If you do have a long day of texting, go home and put your thumb and wrist. It will help eliminate swelling.

What should you do if you think you have tendonitis?

  • First, we recommend you see a hand specialist so that it can be determined if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.
  • While you are waiting for the appointment, we recommend an over the counter pain reliever.
  • Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need corticosteroid injections (steroids) injections, physical therapy, or in the severest cases surgery.

The good news for those suffering from tendonitis, it is not something that is usually permanent. With the proper treatment, it can go away, even if it does feel like it will last forever while you have it. The quickest way to get relief though is to look through your day and see which repetitive motion you are doing and eliminate it until you have seen the doctor and had a treatment plan.

If you would like more information or need an appointment to see if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, please make an appointment at one of our five locations. You can find our office numbers on this link: Contact Us.

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