Carpal tunnel syndrome, or chronic compression of the median nerve in the wrist, is a common cause for pain, tingling and numbness in the hand. These sensations are usually experienced on the palm and the palmar side of the fingers. Risk factors for CTS include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, wrist fracture and swelling, nerve dysfunctions. Another predisposing factor for the condition is the repetitive strain and flexing/extending the wrist from driving, reading, typing or holding a phone.
A physician will diagnose CTS by collecting a history of the patient’s symptoms and performing a physical exam. If necessary, the doctor may want to confirm the diagnosis with a nerve conduction study.
Treatments for CTS include splinting the wrists to maintain a neutral position, minimizing repetitive usage or strain and doing yoga. The doctor may also order a steroid injection in the area called a carpal tunnel injection to reduce inflammation. If symptoms do not improve from conservative treatment within six months, a surgical release may be necessary.