The carpal tunnel is the passageway in the wrist and is made up of the arching carpal bones (eight bones in the wrist) and the ligament connecting the pillars of the arch (the transverse carpal ligament). The median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm pass through the tightly spaced tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pinched due to swelling of the nerve or tendons or both. The median nerve provides sensation to the palm side of the thumb, index, middle fingers, as well as the inside half of the ring finger and muscle power to the thumb. When this nerve becomes pinched, numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain of the affected fingers and hand may occur and radiate into the forearm.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
The following are symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. You may still have carpal tunnel syndrome if you have only a few symptoms.
Symptoms are usually worse at night and are sometimes temporarily relieved by “shaking out” your hands.