What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Health Articles

Mar 30, 2021

Carpal tunnel syndrome often causes numbness, tingling, weakness and discomfort of the hand. These unpleasant sensations occur when the median nerve, a nerve which passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist, becomes compressed. Untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can become chronic, get worse, and affect your lifestyle. Fortunately, when diagnosed and addressed early, carpal tunnel syndrome is effectively treatable, returning most patients back to full, discomfort-free activity.


Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling, numbness, burning and discomfort in the affected hand, particularly in the palm, thumb, index and middle finger. You may also suffer from weakness of the hand and experience difficulty holding or manipulating fine objects. Symptoms may be worse at night or early in the morning or when the median nerve become further aggravated with specific movements.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is classically associated with repetitive motion such as typing, writing or other activities that are wrist-dominant, particularly when your hands fall below your wrist. Pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and obesity may attribute to greater or earlier carpal tunnel syndrome discomfort.


Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed through a physical exam as well as advanced imaging and testing, including an x-ray, MRI and/or nerve study. Because of the commonality of the conditions, classical symptoms and causes, it can be diagnosed with confidence.


Effective treatments can include lifestyle changes within which the repetitive, aggravating motion is eliminated or reduced. Immobilization, particularly at night to prevent nerve compression may also treat the syndrome. Anti-inflammatories may also be effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Finally, an outpatient surgical procedure called a carpal tunnel release may be performed wherein which your surgeon will increase the size of the carpal tunnel to relieve pressure with great success.

If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, book your appointment today with our hand and wrist specialists to learn more about diagnosing and treating this condition.

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