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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from your forearm into the palm of your hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist, surrounded by bones and ligaments, through which the median nerve and tendons pass.

When the median nerve is compressed within the carpal tunnel, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

 

  • Numbness or tingling: You may experience numbness or tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. This sensation may occur while holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper, or may wake you up from sleep.

  • Pain or discomfort: Pain may radiate from the wrist up the arm or down into the palm or fingers. This pain can sometimes feel like a burning sensation.

  • Weakness: You may experience weakness in your hand or have difficulty gripping objects. This can make it challenging to perform tasks that require fine motor skills or strength.

  • Hand clumsiness: You may drop objects more frequently or have difficulty with coordination in your hand.

Symptoms

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often develop gradually and may initially be mild, but they can worsen over time if left untreated. Symptoms are often more pronounced at night or during activities that involve repetitive wrist movements, such as typing or using a computer mouse.

Treatment options

If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome or are experiencing symptoms consistent with CTS, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Treatment options may include wrist splinting, medications, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve.

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