CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
The carpal tunnel is described as a narrow pathway located in the palm side of the wrist. This “tunnel” protects the median nerve of the hand and the nine tendons that help the fingers to move.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that affects the hand and arm and is usually characterized by feelings of tingling and numbness. The trapped median nerve in the wrist can cause pain and/or weakness in the hand and wrist, but also the pain may radiate to the fingers or forearm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a result of a few different causes and many factors can lead to the compression of the nerve in the wrist. Certain underlying health conditions, possible patterns of the hand, wrist anatomy and injuries are just a few of the many possible causes to the CTS.
However, the most common causes are:
- Repetitive wrist motion
- Repetitive pressure on the wrist (i.e. resting the wrist on the edge of computer keyboard)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Direct trauma to the median nerve
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome develop gradually over time. The first symptoms are numbness and tingling sensations in the thumb, index finger and middle finger. These symptoms come and go, but over time they will become persistent and accompanied by weakness in the hand and wrist.
Most common symptoms are:
- Hand numbness and tingling or pins and needles
- Pain in hands, wrist, or forearm
- Hand clumsiness
- Pain in wrists/hands at night
- Weakness in wrists/hands
- Corticosteroid injections
- Wrist splinting
- Open carpal tunnel surgery
- Endoscopic surgery