Difference Between Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis (With Table)

Carpal tunnel and arthritis are two painful conditions that stop you from performing daily activities without any problems. These are two different ailments that occur in different places of the body and have different treatments to heal.

Carpal Tunnel vs Arthritis

The difference between carpal tunnel and arthritis is that carpal tunnel syndrome happens in the wrist area and arthritis occur on the joints of the body. In the carpal tunnel, one experiences pain and numbness of the hand while people suffering from arthritis deals with pain and redness in joints.

Carpal tunnel is a syndrome that is caused by pressure on the median nerve. Exercise and stretches can help to deal with this condition, and once affected, it can be handled with medication and surgery in serious cases. This can happen at any age.

People suffering from arthritis face inflammation in the joints. This is mostly seen in middle age. This affects the joints and makes them red and painful. It can be treated with the help of medication, but if it gets serious, then surgery is needed.

Comparison Table Between Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis

Parameters of ComparisonCarpal TunnelArthritis
Definition In this condition, Pressure forms in the carpal tunnel, the joint of the median nerve and the hand.In this condition, joints of the body suffer from inflammation.
SymptomsIn this condition, one suffers from numbness and pain in hand.In this condition, one suffers from pain, stiffness and red joints.
CauseInjury in the wrist or pressure on the hand.Injury in the joint causes this pain.
DiagnosisMRI, EMG and ultrasound are capable of point out this disease. X-ray and blood tests can trace down this disease.
TreatmentIt can be treated with medicine, splint and surgery.This can be treated with the help of medicine, an immune booster injection and surgery.

What is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel is a syndrome that occurs due to pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is situated in our hands. It is a narrow passageway encircled with bones and ligaments. If the median nerve is compressed, then the hand becomes m numb and weak, a tingling sensation can be felt too as a symptom. Carpal Tunnel can occur because of more than one reason. If the median nerve in the carpal tunnel is squeezed or irritated by anything, then that has the tendency to lead to this syndrome.

There are some ways in which one can prevent this syndrome. One should have a relaxed grip and should reduce the force on it. While working for a long time, one should take short breaks and use them to stretch hands and wrists. Cold environments are more prone to get stiff and get pain. If one’s day includes sitting on the computer for a long time, then one should improve their postures and use a comfortable mouse.

Its treatment depends on the progression of the syndrome. Nerve gliding exercises, stretching can change the situation. This makes the nerve move sufficiently in your carpal tunnel. Doctors might suggest wearing a splint which restricts the movement and thus lessens the pain. If the situation is dire and none of the other treatments works, then surgery is the answer to reduces the pressure on the carpal tunnel.

What is Arthritis?

Inflammation of the joints is called arthritis. It can seize one or multiple joints of the body. Arthritis has many types. The types surpass the number of 100. But most common two arthritides are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Different arthritis is caused due to different reasons. It is common over the age of 65, but in some rare cases, young people and even children can develop this condition. Women are known to get affected by this disease more than men.

The most common indication of arthritis is joint pain. Stiffness and swelling of the joint and redness around the joints can be experienced, while in rheumatoid arthritis, exhausting feelings and loss of appetite are encountered. It affects the immunity system, and even anaemia occurs at times. Through different tests, this disease can be diagnosed.

One can treat the amount of pain through different methods. Heating pads or ice packs can effectively reduce pain. Using canes or walkers also take away the pressure from joints, and thus, the pain eases up a lot. Doctors can also recommend medication or even surgery for dire cases. Physical therapy and exercises help the muscles to grow stronger, and this helps to cope with the pain to some extent.

Main Differences Between Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis

  1. Carpal tunnel condition happens in the joint of the median nerve and hand, whereas arthritis occurs in the joints of the body.
  2. Pain and numbness in the hand occur in carpal tunnel syndrome, while in arthritis, the joints pain and get stiff.
  3. Injury in the wrist or pressure on the hand can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, and injury in the joint may result in arthritis.
  4. To diagnosis carpal tunnel, tests such as MRI, EMG, and ultrasound are effective, while on the other hand, x-ray and blood tests diagnose arthritis.
  5. Carpal tunnel includes treatments such as medicine, splint, and surgery and arthritis can be handled with medicine, injections, and surgery.

Conclusion

Both the ailments have one thing in common, and that is both are painful. One affects the hands while the other affects the joints. Both can be treated with the right treatment and therapy. One can try to prevent these two conditions by eating healthy and exercising on a daily basis. If someone feels pain, then they should immediately seek help from medical professionals to deflect fatal problems later. If caught early, then they can be treated with medicines, and surgery can be avoided.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/03009742.2015.1114141
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1010419/
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