Hand and Wrist

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressively painful hand and arm condition caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist. A number of factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including the anatomy of your wrist, certain underlying health problems and possibly patterns of hand use.

Bound by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway - about as big around as your thumb - located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve produces the numbness, pain and, eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually with a vague aching in your wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm.

Symptoms: