Carpal tunnel syndrome

One of the main nerves directed towards the hand, the median nerve, passes, together with 9 other tendons that allow the fingers to flex, through the carpal tunnel, a canal in the wrist.

The tunnel is a rigid structure, surrounded by bones on three sides and a “roof” of carpal ligament on the fourth; for this reason, if stress increases inside the canal (i.e. due to thickening of the ligament or tendons inside it) the nerve starts suffering: this phenomenon leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

It is a frequent problem, the most frequent when speaking of compressive syndromes, more common in women, in particular after menopause.

Generally, people that have carpal tunnel syndrome have gradually increasing symptoms over time. The first symptoms typically include tingling sensation in the fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers, and usually  appear when sleeping or after activities that tire the hand.

These symptoms appear at night because sleeping provokes a greater congestion which consequently causes an edema that, even if speaking of mill metric variations, can lead to compression of the nerve because of the scarce space available.

The typical symptoms (numbness and tingling sensation) can appear when holding tight the receiver or while driving; ache can start from the wrist, radiate to the palm towards the thumb and the first three fingers and may go back to the arm. Dropping objects and weakness are symptoms of progression constant numbness of the fingers is a sign of a quite advanced damage.