Healthy Living

The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel

Confirming diagnosis

To confirm a diagnosis, a specialist will generally run electromyography tests or nerve conduction studies. Ultrasound images can also be especially helpful when making a diagnosis as they can show if there is a swollen and enlarged nerve and can also show any abnormalities, such as swelling, in the carpal tunnel or other parts of the wrist or hands. 

Immediately following a confirmed carpal tunnel syndrome, treatment should begin. Delayed treatment can lead to permanent nerve damage. 

Treatment plans for carpal tunnel syndrome in rheumatoid arthritis patients begins with treatment of the underlying arthritis symptoms that are leading to the inflammation, irritation, and swelling. Anti-rheumatic medications, such as corticosteroids and biologics, can usually help to reduce the overactive immune response and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.