Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, numbness, and/or tingling in to the hand caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist. The “at the wrist” part of that statement is extremely important, so remember that for later. Continuing on, the median nerve is responsible for moving your thumb, second and third finger.
People with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience:
- Pain, numbness, and/ or tingling into hand
- Hand weakness
- Trouble with fine motor control of the fingers (like buttoning a shirt or picking up a pencil)
- Pain while extending the elbow
- Pain while extending the wrist
Carpal tunnel syndrome is thought to be caused by the following:
- Poor ergonomics
- Repetitive stress or use
This is historically commonly over diagnosed and over treated surgically or with cortisone injections. One of the reasons why carpal tunnel syndrome often does not respond well to surgery is that the focus is mostly on the carpal tunnel, as shown in the picture above. However, the median nerve has to travel all the way from the neck into the hand and can be entrapped or “pinched” in several locations along that course. It is extremely important to evaluate all of the points of entrapment.