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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve is squeezed (compressed) as it passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is an opening in your wrist that is formed by the carpal bones on the bottom of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament across the top of the wrist. The median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and 3 middle fingers.

Risk Factors

Women get carpal tunnel syndrome 3 times more often than men. It usually often occurs only in adults.


Your healthcare provider will discuss different treatment options with you. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Treatment may include:

  • Splinting your hand. This helps keep your wrist from moving. It also eases the compression of the nerves inside the tunnel.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines. These are taken by mouth (oral) or injected into the carpal tunnel space. These ease the swelling.
  • Worksite changes. Changing position of your computer keyboard or making other ergonomic changes can help ease symptoms.
  • Exercise. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help when your symptoms are better. A physical or occupational therapist may watch you do the exercises.

Surgery. You may need surgery if the condition doesn’t get better with other treatments or go away on its own. This surgery is called carpal tunnel release. This eases compression on the nerves in the carpal tunnel.

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