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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when one of the major nerves that travel through the wrist becomes irritated.

Some of the ways this can happen is that the carpal tunnel becomes narrowed or when tissues surrounding the tendons swell, which puts pressure on the median nerve. These tissues are called the synovium. When the synovium swells, it takes up space in the carpal tunnel and, over time, crowds the nerve. This abnormal pressure on the nerve can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.


The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually come on gradually, and the severity can increase over time.

Symptoms can include:

  • Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain—primarily in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • A shock-like sensation that radiates to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Pain or tingling that travels up the forearm toward the shoulder
  • Weakness or clumsiness in the hand
  • Dropping things—due to weakness, numbness, or a loss of awareness of where your hand is in space


The gradual progression of carpal tunnel symptoms makes diagnosis and treatment critical. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated, and the progression can hopefully be slowed. There are a few different types of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Braces or splints can help keep the hand and wrist in a position that avoids putting more pressure on the affected area
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain
  • Activity changes can stop the repeated movement that exacerbates symptoms
  • Nerve gliding exercises help some patients’ medial nerve to move more freely
  • Steroid injections can relieve painful symptoms or help to calm a flare-up, but their positive effect is sometimes only temporary
  • Carpal tunnel release surgery involves a small incision in the palm of your hand so the doctor can view the inside of the hand and wrist

If you would like to learn more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or schedule a consultation, request an appointment with NewSouth NeuroSpine. We are committed to treating and caring for each individual.

We treat you like family.