Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressively painful hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling, weakness and other problems caused by a pinched median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm through a small space in your wrist (carpal tunnel) to your hand.

Proper carpal tunnel treatment relieves the pain and numbness and restores normal use of the wrists and hands in most people with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Prevention

Minimize stress on your hands and wrists by following these precautions:

  • Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down
  • Use correct posture
  • Reduce your force and relax your grip
  • Take frequent breaks, especially if you're making the same hand or wrist movements over and over
  • Keep your hands and wrists warm

Teamwork

Carpal tunnel syndrome is best managed by a group of specialists that include occupational medicine specialists, orthopedic surgeons, hand surgeons, radiologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists. This team approach involves doctors and specialists with diverse medical training who are all dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive treatment possible.

Personalized Care

Our hand surgeons, non-surgical providers and therapists offer the full spectrum of care for carpal tunnel syndrome – from non-operative and conservative treatment for the management of pain to complex surgery. We work closely with you and your family, sharing information and education about the different treatment options personalized to your condition.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Typically, carpal tunnel syndrome starts with a vague achiness in your wrist that can stretch to your hand or forearm.

Common carpal tunnel symptoms include:

  • Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand
  • Wrist pain
  • Weakness in your hands

Generally, anything that aggravates or squeezes the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Several factors, especially in combination, can increase your risk of developing the condition, including:

  • Gender: the condition is more common in women than men
  • Repetitive hand and wrist movements, especially in awkward positions
  • Smoking: Fletcher Allen offers a quit smoking program
  • Age: the condition is more common in people age 40 and older
  • Conditions that cause swelling in the joints or reduce the blood flow to the hands, such as:
  • Wrist bone problems:
    • Fractures
    • Dislocation
    • New bone growth from healing bones
    • Bone spurs
  • Tumors and other growths, such as ganglions

Diagnosis and Treatment: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-2663.