. Carpal tunnel syndrome - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment | CK Birla Hospital
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Carpal tunnel syndrome

About Carpal tunnel syndrome
About Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is among the most common conditions affecting the hand.

What is a carpal tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow tube or passageway in your wrist on the palm side of the hand. The carpal tunnel includes many parts including the carpal bones, ligaments, median nerves and tendons. This tunnel is responsible for connecting the median nerve and tendons to the hand and forearm.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by excessive pressure on the median nerve (within the wrist) leading to numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness. The median nerves provide sensation to the thumb, index and middle finger while the small finger is least affected.

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes varying symptoms that differ from one man to another. Several other conditions may contribute to existing hand pain. Some common conditions that cause hand pain are De Quervain’s tendinosis, trigger finger and arthritis. 

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in the arm develop gradually over time. Early carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are:

These symptoms also vary between daytime and nighttime. Most people experience troubling symptoms during the night in their sleep.

Daytime carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are characterised as:

As mentioned above, these signs and symptoms worsen over time and become more constant. Worsening symptoms present as:

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes

The primary cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is the narrowing of the carpal tunnel. Due to increased narrowing, pressure on the median nerve and tendons increase causing them to swell. This swelling, in turn, restricts any sensations in the thumb, forefinger and middle finger.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect anyone, irrespective of the fact that whether or not they use their wrist excessively. Despite its equivalent incidence, it is unusual that tunnel syndrome affects younger people (younger than 20 years old).

However, people whose work involves repetitive finger use are more likely to develop tunnel syndrome. The following group of individuals are at a greater risk of being affected by carpal tunnel syndrome:

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome
Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually diagnosed when a person presents with the above-given signs and symptoms or for the treatment of another underlying orthopedic condition. A range of tests and procedures are done to diagnose this tunnel syndrome.

Common tests and procedures include:

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated surgically or through medication. The ideal treatment plan devised for you will depend on the severity of your symptoms, your age, and your overall health.

Non-surgical methods are used as the first line of treatment. These methods include:

The surgical approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome is indicated when the non-surgical treatments deem ineffective. In this surgery, the size of the carpal tunnel is increased in order to decrease the pressure on the median nerve and tendons.