Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not including the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some carpal tunnel sufferers say their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause; or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. Diagnosis carpal tunnel syndrome is usually done by electro diagnostic tests. Treatment should be done under a doctor’s care. There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Some non-surgical options include, injection at the site, physical therapy, and oral medication such as anti-inflammatory medications also known as NSAIDS. Surgical treatment involves and open release, this procedure is done under anesthesia and the carpal tunnel ligament is cut to enlarge the carpal tunnel.