Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, a narrow confined space. Since the median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and three middle fingers, many symptoms may result.

The following are the most common symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty making a fist
  • Difficulty gripping objects with the hand(s)
  • Pain and/or numbness in the hand(s)
  • Pins and needles feeling in the fingers
  • Swollen feeling in the fingers
  • Burning or tingling in the fingers, especially the thumb, the index and middle fingers

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may resemble other conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment may include:

  • Splinting of the hand (to help prevent wrist movement and decrease the compression of the nerves inside the tunnel)
  • Oral or injected (into the carpal tunnel space) anti-inflammatory medications (to reduce the swelling)
  • Surgery (to relieve compression on the nerves in the carpal tunnel)
  • Changing position of a computer keyboard, or other ergonomic changes

Learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome.

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