Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes pain and numbness in the fingers and hand, sometimes the arms. It happens when a nerve in the wrist called the “Median Nerve” gets pinched or squeezed.
The median nerve goes though a tunnel in the wrist that is formed by the bones of the wrist and a though band of tissue called a “ligament” Experts do not know exactly how the nerve can get pinched, but they think might happen when:
- Tendons that go though the same tunnel get swollen (tendons are bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones ).
- Tissues surrounding the tendons harden.
- People hold their hands in a position that makes the tunnel smaller.
Women are more likely than men to get carpal tunnel syndrom. Being overweight probably increases the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Examples of other conditions that might increase the risk include pregnancy, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The symptoms include pain and tingling in the thumb and the index, middle, and ring fingers. Often the symptoms affect both hands, but one hand might have worse symptoms that the other.
In some cases, pain and tingling can extend to the whole hand or even up to the wrist and forearm. Rarely, pain and tingling extends past the elbow to the shoulder.