CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms impact as many as 12 million people in the U.S with annual medical expenses in excess of $1 billion dollars. The condition can cause numbness, pain, and tingling of your hand and fingers. At times, the symptoms can also be felt in the wrist and lower arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the main nerve for your hand is squeezed or under pressure. This nerve is called the median nerve and extends from the palm side of your hand up to your wrist and into the lower arm. The median nerve carries sensation for your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger. The muscles surrounding your thumb are controlled by a branch of this nerve as well.
Signs of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, weakness, and hand pain or wrist pain. Any pressure on the median nerve can cause symptoms as the nerve travels through a small space in the wrist. The small space where the nerve is located is called the carpal tunnel, giving the condition its name. This “tunnel” is a closed space that doesn’t expand much.
Carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms can occur in either hand and over 50% of those effected have it in both hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome often gets worse as time progresses, so early evaluation and treatment from a specialist are important.