Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and/or weakness in your hand, particularly in your thumb and first few fingers.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist where nerves and tendons pass through to your hand. If your tendons or tissues become swollen, they compress the median nerve -- the nerve that runs from your forearm into the palm of your hand -- causing carpal tunnel syndrome. You’re more likely to get the condition if you have relatively small carpal tunnels. It can also occur due to a traumatic injury, swollen tendons, fluid retention from pregnancy, or after surgery. People with thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes also have an increased risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
When to Seek Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you have tried rest and altering your daily activities, but symptoms persist and interrupt sleep or your daily routine, it may be time to see a hand and wrist specialist. It’s important not to wait too long to get care; carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent numbness and weakness in the hand if left untreated.