Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a relatively common condition that causes a tingling sensation, numbness and sometimes pain in the hand and fingers. Usually, these sensations develop gradually and worsen during the night. They tend to affect the thumb, index finger and middle finger.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow page way in the wrist, which pens into he hand. IT is surrounded by the bones of the wrist (underneath) and the transverse carpal ligament (access the tip). The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel and gives feeling to the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. Many tendons also pass through this carpal tunnel and if any swelling occurs, the large median nerve can easily be compressed, causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Anything that causes swelling inside the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, including repetitive hand movements, pregnancy, arthritis, diabetes and thyroid gland imbalance.
Treatments can include rest of the affected hand; physiotherapy; wearing splints on the affected wrist and hand at night; corticosteroid injection and diuretic medication. Surgery may be required if non surgical treatments fails to relieve the symptoms. It may also be used if there is a risk of permanent nerve damage.
Written by Zhi Su.