Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of the hand. When the median nerve is compressed, symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually start gradually and include:
Tingling or numbness. You may notice tingling and numbness in the fingers or hand. Usually the thumb and index, middle or ring fingers are affected, but not the little finger. You might feel a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers.
The sensation may travel from the wrist up the arm. These symptoms often occur while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper, or may wake you from sleep.
Many people “shake out” their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. The numb feeling may become constant over time.
- Weakness. You may experience weakness in the hand and drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in the hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.