WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow rigid passageway of ligaments and bones in the base of the hand which contains the median nerves and tendons which are responsible for hand strength and function. When thickening and swelling from irritation of the tendons occurs, the carpal tunnel is compressed which can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of function in the hand and/or wrist. This is referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive motion of the hand, trauma or injury, sprain or fracture, over activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, work stress, and fluid retention due to pregnancy or menopause. This condition occurs in 50 out of 1000 people worldwide and is 3 times more likely to affect women between the ages of 30 and 60. Those with diabetes, metabolic disorders and nerve disorders are more susceptible and have a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.