Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition where pressure exerted by a swollen carpal tunnel on the nerves causes pain, tingling and numbness in the wrist and fingers. The carpal tunnel is the passage containing the median nerve and flexor tendons which help control hand movement. CTS can restrict movement in the hand and wrist, and decrease the functionality of your thumbs.
CTS occurs when a nerve in the hand is compressed, when there is not enough space in the carpal tunnel within the wrist. The likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome is increased if you are overweight, pregnant, have a previous wrist injury, repetitively bend the wrist or grip hard, have arthritis or diabetes, or have a close relative with CTS.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may come and go, increase in intensity over time and are often worse at night. Symptoms include pain or aching in the fingers, numbness, tingling or pins and needles in the hands, and difficulty gripping or weak thumbs.
CTS can be diagnosed with a physical examination combined with an analysis of your symptoms. Additionally, you can have Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) if more information is needed for a diagnosis.