Carpal tunnel syndrome

background

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, carpal tunnel syndrome affects more than five million Americans, especially those individuals performing repetitive movements for long periods of time. The carpal tunnel is a small passageway approximately the size of the thumb located on the palm side of the wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to the hand and nine tendons that bend the fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve (nerve connected to the hand that controls some muscles that move the thumb). When pressure is placed on the median nerve, numbness and pain occur that eventually may lead to hand weakness. A combination of factors may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome including trauma or injury to the wrist as well as various health conditions. However, with appropriate treatment, individuals may regain normal use of their hands.

Related Terms

Carpal tunnel, carpal tunnel syndrome, durkan carpal tunnel compression test, inflammation, joints, median nerve compression, nonsurgical treatment, pain, phalen maneuver, surgical treatment, thumb abduction strength test.