Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful disorder of the wrist and hand. Carpal Tunnel receives its name from the 8 bones in the wrist, called carpals, which form a tunnel-like structure. This tunnel protects your median nerve. The median nerve gives you feeling in your thumb, and index, middle and ring fingers. But when other tissues in the carpal tunnel, such as ligaments and tendons, get swollen or inflamed, they press against the median nerve. That pressure can make part of your hand hurt or feel numb.

Carpel Tunnel has a specific group of symptoms which include:
  • Tingling
  • Numbness or pain in the fingers, thumb hand, or arm.
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Stress Inury
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • These symptoms can be caused by:
  • Repetitive flexing
  • Extension of the wrist
  • Typing
  • Other repetitive activies

Where Is This Tunnel?

Under the skin at your wrist is the tunnel. Nine tendons and one nerve pass through this tunnel from the forearm to the hand. The bottom and sides of the carpal tunnel are formed by wrist bones, and the top of the tunnel is covered by a strong band of connective tissue called a ligament. The tendons that run through the tunnel connect muscles to bones and help you use your hand and bend your fingers and thumb. The nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel to reach the hand is the median nerve. There is barely enough room for the tendons and the nerve to pass through it. If anything takes up extra room in the canal, the median nerve gets pinched. Swelling can occur when someone does the same thing over and over, like typing. This swelling can pinch the nerve.

You can avoid Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) by:
  • Keeping a view distance of 18-24 inches.
  • Use a wrist rest.
  • Make sure you have back support.
  • Keep your chair height at 16 to 20 inches.

Additional Resources