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Chronic Cold Hands: Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms in the hand and arm, including cold hands

Cold hands are a common symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome along with pain in the shoulder, pain in the forearm and even in your neck. The most notable reason for chronic cold hands with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are caused by pinched nerves that restrict blood circulation which interferes with the healing process and most time leaving your hands cold regardless of the weather.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist.  Two reasons for this condition is injured soft tissue and the other is inflammation that traps parts of the hand and wrist creating prtessure on the blood flow and causing numbing, tingling and cold hands.

Some of the cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Repetitive Motions, like typing, or any motions of the wrist that your do over and over.  This typically occurs when your hands are lower than your wrists.
  • Medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and obesity are common conditions that can be associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

If you have any of the symptoms mentions you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  If you think you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you need to have it checked and treated by a fellowship trained board certified orthopaedic hand and wrist surgeon because the symptoms can last a long time, get worse, and can even go away and return.  The sooner diagnosed the easier Carpal Tunnel syndrome can be treated. 

Hand wrist pain


Treatments can range from yoga to surgery, but many fellowship trained board certified orthopaedic hand and wrist surgeons will order a steroid injection, physical therapy or home therapy with a brace to see if the symptoms go away before more testing is ordered to see if surgery is necessary to provide complete relief.

Things to try

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become worse when you hold your hand and wrist in the same position for long periods of time keeping your wrist and bent either up or down.  If your work makes it hard to keep your wrist straight then you can try some of the tips can help reduce your cold hands by:

  • Take a break for 10-15 minutes every hour and stretch your hands.
  • Talk to your manager to see if you can change your desk, tools, or workstation setup.
  • Try to alternate which hand you use for your tasks.
  • Use only as much force as you need. Don’t hold your tools too tightly or pound away at your keyboard.
  • Watch your posture. Try not to roll your shoulders forward, which sets off a chain reaction that makes wrist problems even worse.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our Raleigh Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

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