11 doctors weighed in:

Does cold make carpal tunnel syndrome worse?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michele Arnold
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Actually, yes

Nerve conduction speed slows in cold temperatures, and does indeed make carpal tunnel symptoms worse.

In brief: Actually, yes

Nerve conduction speed slows in cold temperatures, and does indeed make carpal tunnel symptoms worse.
Dr. Michele Arnold
Dr. Michele Arnold
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1 comment
Dr. Jeremy Bland
Well cold certainly slows nerve conduction but whether it either makes the symptoms of CTS worse or contributes to the development of the problem is uncertain. Some patients report more symptoms when warm, some when cold. I don't think it has ever been properly studied.
Dr. Douglas Fronzaglia
Internal Medicine - Geriatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not usually

Carpal tunnel syndrome should not be worse due to temperature or weather.

In brief: Not usually

Carpal tunnel syndrome should not be worse due to temperature or weather.
Dr. Douglas Fronzaglia
Dr. Douglas Fronzaglia
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: YES POSSIBLE

Cold weather will make the joints stiff, additional shivering, will cause addional compression to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel resulting the worsening of symptoms.

In brief: YES POSSIBLE

Cold weather will make the joints stiff, additional shivering, will cause addional compression to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel resulting the worsening of symptoms.
Dr. Addagada Rao
Dr. Addagada Rao
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Dr. Gary Pess
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: No

Cold should not affect cts.

In brief: No

Cold should not affect cts.
Dr. Gary Pess
Dr. Gary Pess
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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: Cold influences

Circulation, as you try to conserve heat your hand and wrist blood vessels constrict, this can amplify the effect of carpal tunnel as that too involves supression of the blood supply to the median nerve but in response to pressure on the nerve.
Your symptoms may be worse but the degree of chronicity is likely not worsened. Add cold to any painful or sensation related hand issue and it feels worse.

In brief: Cold influences

Circulation, as you try to conserve heat your hand and wrist blood vessels constrict, this can amplify the effect of carpal tunnel as that too involves supression of the blood supply to the median nerve but in response to pressure on the nerve.
Your symptoms may be worse but the degree of chronicity is likely not worsened. Add cold to any painful or sensation related hand issue and it feels worse.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: Cold can make the

Symptoms seem worse.
Whether it actually makes the cts worse to a significant degree can't be proven, but with cold comes vasoconstriction of the perpheral circulationand that same circulation brings blood to the nerve in your wrist and hand. Since cts really is an issue of reduced blood flow to median nerve due to pressure, than anything that also reduces blodd flow as cold affects it too.

In brief: Cold can make the

Symptoms seem worse.
Whether it actually makes the cts worse to a significant degree can't be proven, but with cold comes vasoconstriction of the perpheral circulationand that same circulation brings blood to the nerve in your wrist and hand. Since cts really is an issue of reduced blood flow to median nerve due to pressure, than anything that also reduces blodd flow as cold affects it too.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: YES cold can make

The symptoms of carpal tunnel feel worse, the median nerve at the wrist has its blood supply disturbed by compression in carpal tunnel.
Cold also reduces blood supply to the hands through vasoconstriction a normal responseof the body to conserve heat. The two can act together or synergistically to reduce blood flow even more thus worsen median nerve symptoms. Carpal tunnel can give cold fingers 2.

In brief: YES cold can make

The symptoms of carpal tunnel feel worse, the median nerve at the wrist has its blood supply disturbed by compression in carpal tunnel.
Cold also reduces blood supply to the hands through vasoconstriction a normal responseof the body to conserve heat. The two can act together or synergistically to reduce blood flow even more thus worsen median nerve symptoms. Carpal tunnel can give cold fingers 2.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
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Dr. Luis Villaplana
Internal Medicine

In brief: Positioning your

Hand or arm might make a difference, but i agree with the previous answer on this one.
I've had both done, so from personal experience, he is right.

In brief: Positioning your

Hand or arm might make a difference, but i agree with the previous answer on this one.
I've had both done, so from personal experience, he is right.
Dr. Luis Villaplana
Dr. Luis Villaplana
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