Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms and Causes

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Symptoms and Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the wrist and hand condition that occurs when the median nerve is compressed.

Common indicators of the condition include pain, numbness, and weakness that sometimes radiates to the arm affected.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will depend on the severity of the condition.

Treatment can range from noninvasive options to carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.

What are the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Mild cases of the condition often only affect the hand.

However, in some instances it can also spread to the forearm and the shoulder.

The following are some of the most common symptoms of mild carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Occasional tingling
  • Pain
  • Pins-and-needles sensation
  • Numbness and pain that gets worse when the hand is used
  • Pain when flexing or bending the wrist
  • Numbness and pain when gripping an object
  • Stiffness of the fingers (especially noticeable in the mornings)

For moderate and severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the most prevalent symptoms that will manifest includes reduced grip, numbness, and loss of strength in the thumbs, hand, or fingers.

Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome will find it hard to:

  • Carry out simple hand movements like brushing the hair or holding food utensils. There is also the likelihood of accidentally dropping objects.
  • Pinch objects between the thumb and the first finger. This is aptly called pinch strength loss.
  • Use the thumb for routine tasks like opening a jar or using a screwdriver. In cases of long-term carpal tunnel syndrome, atrophy of the muscles of the thumb may occur.

Symptoms of the condition will often occur in the parts of the hand supplied by the middle finger so that includes the middle finger, half of the ring finger, index finger, and the thumb.

The median nerve does not affect the little finger so if there are symptoms that affect the little finger, it’s safe to assume carpal tunnel syndrome is not the likely culprit.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What are the possible causes of the carpal tunnel syndrome?

  • Irritated flexor tendons
  • Repetitive movements of the hand
  • Other existing medical conditions such as pregnancy, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

What are some of the risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Several risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome has been identified.

Some of these risk factors include:

  • Sex – carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than in men.
  • Inflammatory conditions – diseases that are characterized by inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes end up affecting the wrist tendons and will put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Nerve-damaging conditions – conditions like diabetes can put individuals in increased risk of nerve damage and this can include possible median nerve damage.
  • Workplace factors – occupation or hobbies that entail repetitive or prolonged wrist flexing may put unnecessary stress and strain on the median nerve.
  • Other medical conditions – certain medical issues like obesity, kidney failure, menopause, and thyroid problems have been associated with the condition.

Know who are at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome here.

When is medical attention necessary?

If the following symptoms will manifest, seeking medical attention is recommended:

  • You end up accidentally dropping things and simple hand movements becomes challenging to carry out.
  • You experience numbness, pain, tingling sensation, and hand weakness that does not disappear even after a couple of weeks.
  • You notice little or no feelings in the fingers or affected hand.
  • It becomes difficult for you to pink your thumb and fingers together.
  • You notice diminished strength in your thumb.

In most cases, mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome will respond to at-home remedies.

However, in the event that it doesn’t, getting in touch with the specialist at is recommended as you might be a candidate for carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.


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