Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful disorder of the wrist and hand. It occurs when the Median nerve becomes entrapped or inflamed at the wrist.


How does it occur?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically an over use injury and can occur due to repetitive motion of the wrist and hand. Vibrating tools can contribute to development of CTS.

It may be caused by inflammation and swelling associated with injury, arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.

CTS can occur during pregnancy


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of CTS include:

Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hand and wrist especially in the thumb, index and middle fingers; pain may radiate up into the forearm

Increased pain with use of your hand, such as when you are driving or typing

Increased pain at night

Weak grip and tendency to drop objects

Sensitivity to cold

Muscle wasting especially at the base of the thumb (later stages)


How is it diagnosed?

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination assessing motions that provoke pain, nerve sensitivity, and strength.

The doctor may prescribe an EMG to test nerve conduction


How is it treated?

Treatment focuses on relieving irritation and pressure on the median nerve and may include:

Wearing a splint during sleep or physical activity involving the wrist

Rest

Specific exercise

Anti-inflammatory medication

Physical therapy modalities

Surgery in more severe cases

Tool/ ergonomic modifications

Learn about your problem

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