Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms, often with prolonged gripping and/or an upright posture of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist, or in your shoulder.
A number of factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including the anatomy of your wrist, certain underlying health problems and possibly patterns of hand use. Bound by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve produces the numbness, tingling and, eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fortunately, for most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome, proper treatment usually can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Care for carpal tunnel syndrome can range from: rehabilitation, wearing a splint or brace to rest the wrist, steroid injections into the carpal canal to decrease swelling, and when non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful surgery may be required.
Generally a combination of treatments are attempted prior to surgery as the outcomes of any procedure depend on how long the condition has existed and how much damage has been done to the nerve. For that reason, it's a good idea to see a doctor early if you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.