What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is located in our wrists. There are eight small bones known as the carpal bones in the wrist. These bones form a semi-circle and the base of this semi-circle are formed by the carpal ligament. The place inside the semi-circle is known as the carpal tunnel. Inside the tunnel are tendons, vessels and the median nerve.
The median nerve located here is responsible for two things. The first is to deliver commands from the brain to move the thumb and the second is to send the “feeling” of touch to the brain. When the median nerve comes under pressure for any reason the “signals” flow is disturbed. The signal flow disturbance in turn leads to symptoms of the condition termed as the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
If you want to know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome then you will have to look out for the symptoms. The most common symptoms that appear are tingling, numbness and weakness in the fingers. Also,pain is felt in the fingers and in a few cases the palm too.
These symptoms in most cases are seen to arise in the parts of the hand that is connected to your median nerve. These parts are the thumb, index finger, half of your ring finger and the middle finger. If the little finger is not affected then this is one of the best signs of this being carpal tunnel syndrome as the little finger is usually controlled by a different nerve.
The symptoms in most of the cases of carpal tunnel syndrome appear in both the hands. However the symptoms are usually seen to be much worse in one hand compared to the other. The symptoms are felt most strongly at night or when waking up in the morning.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are known to go as far as the arm and the shoulder too.
Here are the symptoms seen in the most cases:
Fingers may feel stiff when you wake up in the morning
A numbness or pain in the hand, forearm or the wrist that wakes you at night.
Having a tingling feeling occasionally, along with numbness, pain and a “pins and needles” sensation.
Difficulty in doing simple every day movements such as grabbing objects. For example a fork. You may accidently drop objects.
Loss of pinching strength.