Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. It can cause numbness, tingling, swelling and pain of the first 2 to 3 fingers of the hand. The median nerve and several tendons that run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers (not your little finger). Carpel tunnel syndrome is overly diagnosed, since neural irritation, at any level above the wrist (elbow, shoulder and neck), may contribute to or cause hand/wrist pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness. Repetitive use of the hand for an extended period of time may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This pressure can come from swelling or anything that makes the carpal tunnel smaller. Things that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Injury or fall
- Repetitive motion, making the same hand movements over and over, especially if the wrist is bent down (your hands lower than your wrists), or making the same wrist movements over and over, ie. assembly-line work.
- Typing, gardening (pruning), painting etc.
- Wrist injuries and bone spurs, fractures of the wrist
- Smoking, because it can reduce blood flow to the median nerve.
- Illnesses such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand.
- Some people may have pain in their forearm
- Mostly effects, the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
- Change your grip frequently, use of the thumb and index finger grip, all the time can strain the hand.
- Keep your wrist in neutral position.
- When possible, rotate tasks to give your hands a rest.
- Do simple hand stretches to relieve strain ie. wrist curls, finger stretches and thumb stretches.