In this very common condition, there is pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist.
The bones of the wrist are arranged in a horseshoe shape. The free ends of the horseshoe are joined together by a tough piece of tissue, forming a narrow tunnel through which the median nerve passes.
Any swelling of the tissues in the area can cause pressure on the nerve and irritate it. Signals are sent from the median nerve to the brain are interpreted as coming from the area supplied by this nerve – that is, from the hand.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Numbness, tingling or pain in the hand, worse in the thumb, index and middle fingers.
- Symptoms are much worse during the night or first thing in the morning.
- Rubbing or shaking the hand eases the pain and tingling.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The priority is to relieve the pressure on the nerve, which increases when your wrist is bend forwards and reduces when it bent back. A simple splint worn around your wrist at night to stop it bending forward may be enough to solve the problem.
If this does not work, then an injection of anti-inflammatory into the carpal tunnel can shrink the tissues enough to relieve the pressure.
If this is not effective either, a simple operation under local anaesthetic will relieve the pressure on the nerve.