Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. This nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, as well as controlling some of the muscles in the hand.
The symptoms of CTS can include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected hand and wrist. The symptoms are often worse at night and can interfere with sleep. Over time, CTS can lead to muscle damage and loss of grip strength.
There are several treatments available for CTS, and the best option depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be managed with lifestyle changes, such as taking frequent breaks from activities that require repetitive hand motions or adjusting the positioning of the hand during these activities. Wearing a wrist splint at night can also help to alleviate symptoms.
For more severe cases, a doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation, or surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Surgery typically involves cutting the ligament that is pressing on the nerve to create more space in the carpal tunnel.
It’s important to seek treatment for CTS, as early intervention can help prevent permanent nerve damage and improve the chances of a successful outcome.