Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and wrist. It occurs when there is a high amount of pressure within the wrist on a nerve called the median nerve. This median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. The little finger (the “pinky”) is typically not affected. This median nerve also provides strength to few muscles at the base of the thumb and index finger.
Carpal tunnel: – Carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in the wrist. The bottom and sides of the tunnel are formed by small semi-circular bones called carpal bones. A tissue called ligament forms in the top of the tunnel. The median nerve and tendons pass through this space. These tendons connect muscles in the forearm to bones in the hand. These help the finger and thumb to bend and straighten.
Who is at risk?
Women are three times more possible to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men. Carpal tunnel syndrome is mostly diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60. Jobs that involve repetitive finger use, mainly those associated with high force, extreme wrist motions may develop this disorder.
Many factors contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndromes such as high salt intake, sedentary lifestyle and, obesity. People who work in professions like Manufacturing, Assembly line work, Keyboarding occupations, and Construction work are at greater risk.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in the wrist; it is surrounded by bones and ligaments. Tendons run through the carpal tunnel and help the fingers and the median nerve move, which is responsible for both sensation and movement in the hand, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.
Any condition that causes swelling of the membranes of the carpal tunnel can lead to the carpel tunnel syndrome. When the tissues of the carpal tunnel become swollen, it will cause the median nerve to be compressed, which is known as nerve entrapment.
Conditions related to carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Fractures or trauma to the wrist
- Wrist fracture or dislocation
- Wrist Deformity
- Tumor in the carpel tunnel
- Older age
- Placing of your wrists while using your keyboard or mouse
- Continuous exposure to vibrations from using hand-tools or power-tools
- playing the piano or typing