Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) describes a common nerve entrapment at the wrist involving the median nerve that may cause pain, numbness, and even weakness in the hand and wrist. Also the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome may radiate down to the fingers or even up into the forearm. The carpal tunnel describes a ‘tunnel’ or conduit created by the bones of the wrist and the flexor retinaculum (overlying sheath) by which tendons and nerves, etc. pass thus limiting their space.
EVALUATING YOUR CONDITION
What causes carpal tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be a result of several different causes. Most commonly, repetitive wrist motions or repeated pressure (i.e. hammering) on the wrist (i.e. resting the wrists on the edge of a computer keyboard) is a common culprit for irritating the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. In other circumstances, medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, or pregnancy may also contribute to CTS. Even direct trauma to the median nerve as it enters the carpal tunnel may cause CTS.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel?
- Pain in hands, wrist, or forearm
- Hand numbness or pins and needles
- Hand clumsiness
- Pain in wrists/hands at night
- Weakness in wrists/hands