Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a nerve compression syndrome caused by increased pressure and inflammation to the median nerve at the wrist. Basically, the median nerve becomes pinched at the wrist.
There is a narrow space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when pressure in the tunnel builds up and compresses the nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common nerve compression in the upper extremity.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are usually unknown. There are many different ways for pressure to increase in the carpal tunnel or there may be a combination of causes. Any one or more of the following factors can contribute to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Keeping the wrist bent for long periods of time.
Joint dislocations, wrist fractures, swelling, and/or arthritis can narrow the tunnel.
The lining of the flexor tendons may swell, which is known as tenosynovitis.
Fluid retention during pregnancy can cause increased pressure in the tunnel. Symptoms usually go away after delivery.
Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.