0 comments on “What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?”

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This tunnel or passageway allows tendons, blood vessels and nerves to pass from the forearm to the hand.

1-8-798x418

The median nerve can become compressed within the tunnel for various reasons such as a wrist fracture or dislocation, chronic shoulder pain shooting down toward the arms and hands, fluid retention, and other inflammatory conditions. Other things that may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome are working with vibrating tools, prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist, and even typing on computer keyboard or using a computer mouse.

Excess inflammation around the carpal tunnel causes a build-up of pressure inside the tunnel, which in turn will cause a blockage of blood flow and nerve signalling from the forearm to the hand. Decreased blood flow results in the sensation of  numbness, tingling, weakness and even swelling.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of ligaments and bones. The median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm pass through this tightly spaced tunnel.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve entrapment, occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve.  The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb, index and middle fingers. The symptoms often first appear during the night.  As symptoms worsen, people might feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks.  If not properly treated, CTS can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.