Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tendinitis – What’s the Difference?

carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis what's the difference

If you type or text a lot and you feel pain, numbness, tingling or burning in your hand and fingers, you may be quick to think you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. However, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Wrist Tendinitis are caused by similar activities and share similar symptoms. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or TendinitisWhat’s the difference? Learn about the causes and symptoms and how to treat Carpal Tunnel and Tendinitis.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome develops when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm through the wrist, gets squashed and swollen. Because the nerve is under pressure, sensory impulses don’t get transmitted properly and you may feel itchiness, numbness, or burning in your fingers and hand.  The median nerve doesn’t run to the little fingers, so with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome your “pinkies” won’t be affected.

Over time, as that nerve shorts out like a kinked electrical cord, the pain and numbness can become worse. A classic symptom of CTS is waking up with pain or numbness that feels better by “shaking out” your hand.  CTS symptoms shouldn’t be ignored.  If the nerve remains compressed, permanent damage can occur. If symptoms persist, it’s important that you talk to your health care provider.

The exact cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not known but injuries; repetitive movements, such as typing on a keyboard; pregnancy, and some diseases can cause the nerve entrapment that leads to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms include:

  • Pain near your wrist on the palm side of your hand
  • Numbness or tingling in your thumb, first, and middle fingers(not your pinky)
  • Pins and needles” in your fingers especially if you bend your wrist
  • Your fingers “fall asleep” especially at night when sleeping with the wrist bent

What is Tendinitis

Tendinitis can be caused by repetitive wrist movements and overuse. Everything from spring-cleaning to a day of painting walls to competitive sports can cause tendinitis. When overworked tendons become irritated they can develop small tears.

Symptoms of Tendinitis

Like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendinitis can cause wrist pain, tingling sensations, and muscle weakness. With tendinitis you may experience numbness or tingling in any finger, including your pinky.

How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendinitis

For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wearing a brace that supports your wrist and sometimes your fingers, helps decrease the swelling and reduces the pressure on the median nerve. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help reduce your pain and swelling. Making changes to how you do certain activities as well as taking frequent breaks can also be helpful in relieving your symptoms.

wrist compression sleeve for carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis
 WS6 Wrist Compression Sleeve
fix comfort wrist brace for carpal tunnel syndrome
Fix Comfort Wrist Brace









For Tendinitis, rest along with anti-inflammatory medications can help with your pain and swelling. Other medications may be prescribed, along with physical and occupational therapy to improve motion and comfort. Splints and braces that support your wrist but do not fully limit your motion may help relieve the symptoms of mild tendinitis. For more severe tendinitis, when total rest is required, braces with more support are usually recommended.

3pp choice wrist brace for carpal tunnel and tendinitis
3pp Choice Wrist Brace

If you have changed how you perform your activities, used a brace for at least a month, taken anti-inflammatory medicines and your symptoms continue or get worse, it is recommended that you talk to your health care provider. Feeling better may be as easy as a few therapy sessions, different medications or if necessary – surgery to resolve the problem before permanent damage occurs.

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Looking For Wrist Braces for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Wrist Tendinitis?  

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Ws6 Wrist Brace for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

WS6 Wrist Compression Sleeve

Fix Comfort Wrist Brace for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fix Comfort Wrist Brace

3pp choice wrist brace for carpal tunnel or tendinitis

3pp Choice Wrist Brace

View Video

How To Wear the Orthosleeve WS6 Compression Wrist Sleeve for Carpal Tunnel


Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.


One comment on “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tendinitis – What’s the Difference?

  1. My splint drives me nuts and i am getting tingling in just my thumb. I keep thinking i might have my splint on too tight but i have readjusted the thing a thousand times. I don’t want to keep having this tingling because i keep dropping stuff due to not being to feel what i am holding with that hand. I was told i have tendonitis and i hate it.

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