Some of the most common reasons why people tend to develop the condition may include any of the following:
- Key underlying health issues
- Specific anatomy of the wrist
- Repetitive use of hands
Bound by ligaments and bones, the carpal tunnel is actually a narrow passageway that runs through the wrist on the palm side. This very important tunnel works to protect a primary nerve that leads to the hand as well as nine tendons whose fundamental role is to bend the fingers.
Nerve compression creates tingling, numbness, and ultimately, weakness in the hand that characterizes this common condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome often starts out slowly with tingling or numbness in the thumb, middle, and index fingers that tends to come and go. These symptoms may be connected to pain in the hand and wrist. Typical symptoms include the following:
Numbness or tingling:
Many people experience numbness or tingling in their hand or fingers, particularly the thumb, middle, ring, or index fingers, but usually not the pinky finger. This unpleasant sensation generally happens while holding an item such as a phone, newspaper, or steering wheel, or can often wake you out of a sound sleep in the night. The sensation can be experienced starting at the wrist and working up through the arm as well. You may see people “shaking out” their hands and arms in an attempt to “wake” them up to relieve their uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, as the condition worsens, the feeling of numbness may be constant.
Some people feel weakness in their hands and often drop objects after picking them up. This is often because of numbness in the hands or a weakness in the pinching muscles of the thumb that the median nerve works to control.
Carpal tunnel syndrome often occurs when the median nerve is compressed. This nerve starts at the forearm and runs through a narrow passageway in the wrist to your hand. It’s the nerve that gives the palm side of your fingers and thumb sensation, minus your pinky finger. It also enables nerve signals to move key muscles that surround the base of the thumb.
Overall, anything that compresses, irritates, or crowds the median nerve located in the carpal tunnel area can result in developing the condition. For instance, a wrist fracture can sometimes narrow the tunnel and subsequently irritate the median nerve as well as the inflammation and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis.
Since every case is unique, it’s hard to pinpoint the actual cause 100 percent of the time. It could be that a combination of many risk factors contributes to the development of the disorder.
V. K. Puppala, M.D. is located in Villa Rica, GA and serves patients throughout the Metro Atlanta area. He treats all his patients with great compassion and respect. Dr. Puppala takes a multidisciplinary approach by using a variety of minimally invasive interventional methods including practical restoration and effective medication management. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN today to schedule an appointment with him.