Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be defined as a hand and arm condition that causes numbness and tingling in your arms. This irritating condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.
The median nerve is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. The median nerve run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes narrow due to some swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs. It typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night, and can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers, if not proper care is given to.
- Anatomic factors – A wrist fracture or dislocation that alters the space within the carpal tunnel can cause pressure on the median nerve.
- Gender – This syndrome is generally more common in women.
- Inflammatory conditions – Conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis, which are inflammatory diseases, can affect the tendons in your wrist, exerting pressure on your median nerve.
- Other medical conditions – Conditions like obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure, can be a risk factor of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Workplace factors – Working with vibrating tools or jobs that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing nerve damage.
- Tingling or numbness – Tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb and index, middle or ring fingers.
- Weakness – Weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects.
For determining the condition, the physician will review your symptoms, as its pattern, its timing and such. The usual times when you experience symptoms due to carpal tunnel syndrome include while holding a phone or a newspaper, where he or she will test the feeling in your fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand. X-ray of the affected wrist can be used to check for arthritis or any fracture.