Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information Page

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information Page


What research is being done?

NINDS-funded scientists are studying the factors that lead to long-lasting nerve pain disorders, and how the affected nerves are related to symptoms of numbness, loss of function, and pain. Researchers also are examining biomechanical stresses that contribute to the nerve damage responsible for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in order to better understand, treat, and prevent it. Other NIH research will evalute the effects of acupuncture and other therapies in tailoring individual tretment programs. 

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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What research is being done?

NINDS-funded scientists are studying the factors that lead to long-lasting nerve pain disorders, and how the affected nerves are related to symptoms of numbness, loss of function, and pain. Researchers also are examining biomechanical stresses that contribute to the nerve damage responsible for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in order to better understand, treat, and prevent it. Other NIH research will evalute the effects of acupuncture and other therapies in tailoring individual tretment programs. 

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

NINDS-funded scientists are studying the factors that lead to long-lasting nerve pain disorders, and how the affected nerves are related to symptoms of numbness, loss of function, and pain. Researchers also are examining biomechanical stresses that contribute to the nerve damage responsible for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in order to better understand, treat, and prevent it. Other NIH research will evalute the effects of acupuncture and other therapies in tailoring individual tretment programs. 

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when  the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand,  becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to most of the fingers. Symptoms usually start gradually, with numbness, tingling, weakness, and sometimes pain in the hand and wrist.  CTS makes it difficult for some people to drive, read a book, grasp small objects, or do other tasks. Sometines no direct cause of CTS can be found; contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, as well as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fluid retention during pregnancy. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The disorder usually occurs only in adults.

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Definition

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when  the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand,  becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to most of the fingers. Symptoms usually start gradually, with numbness, tingling, weakness, and sometimes pain in the hand and wrist.  CTS makes it difficult for some people to drive, read a book, grasp small objects, or do other tasks. Sometines no direct cause of CTS can be found; contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, as well as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fluid retention during pregnancy. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The disorder usually occurs only in adults.

Treatment
Treatment

Initial treatment generally involves wearing a splint at night to keep the wrist from bending, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to temporarily reduce swelling, and injections of corticosteroid drugs (such as prednisone). For more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.  Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.  Over-the-counter drugs can provide some short-term pain relief, and yoga can reduce pain and improve grip strength in some people with CTS.

×
Treatment

Initial treatment generally involves wearing a splint at night to keep the wrist from bending, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to temporarily reduce swelling, and injections of corticosteroid drugs (such as prednisone). For more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.  Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.  Over-the-counter drugs can provide some short-term pain relief, and yoga can reduce pain and improve grip strength in some people with CTS.

Definition
Definition

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when  the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand,  becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to most of the fingers. Symptoms usually start gradually, with numbness, tingling, weakness, and sometimes pain in the hand and wrist.  CTS makes it difficult for some people to drive, read a book, grasp small objects, or do other tasks. Sometines no direct cause of CTS can be found; contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, as well as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fluid retention during pregnancy. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The disorder usually occurs only in adults.

Treatment
Treatment

Initial treatment generally involves wearing a splint at night to keep the wrist from bending, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to temporarily reduce swelling, and injections of corticosteroid drugs (such as prednisone). For more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.  Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.  Over-the-counter drugs can provide some short-term pain relief, and yoga can reduce pain and improve grip strength in some people with CTS.

Prognosis
Prognosis

In general, carpal tunnel syndrome responds well to treatment, but less than half of individuals report their hand(s) feeling completely normal following surgery. Some residual numbness or weakness is common. Most people may need to modify work activity for several weeks following surgery.  Stretching exercises, taking frequent rest breaks, wearing splints to keep wrists straight, and using correct posture and wrist position can help prevent or worsen symptoms. 

×

In general, carpal tunnel syndrome responds well to treatment, but less than half of individuals report their hand(s) feeling completely normal following surgery. Some residual numbness or weakness is common. Most people may need to modify work activity for several weeks following surgery.  Stretching exercises, taking frequent rest breaks, wearing splints to keep wrists straight, and using correct posture and wrist position can help prevent or worsen symptoms. 

Prognosis
Prognosis

In general, carpal tunnel syndrome responds well to treatment, but less than half of individuals report their hand(s) feeling completely normal following surgery. Some residual numbness or weakness is common. Most people may need to modify work activity for several weeks following surgery.  Stretching exercises, taking frequent rest breaks, wearing splints to keep wrists straight, and using correct posture and wrist position can help prevent or worsen symptoms. 

Definition

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when  the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand,  becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to most of the fingers. Symptoms usually start gradually, with numbness, tingling, weakness, and sometimes pain in the hand and wrist.  CTS makes it difficult for some people to drive, read a book, grasp small objects, or do other tasks. Sometines no direct cause of CTS can be found; contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, as well as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fluid retention during pregnancy. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The disorder usually occurs only in adults.

Treatment

Initial treatment generally involves wearing a splint at night to keep the wrist from bending, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to temporarily reduce swelling, and injections of corticosteroid drugs (such as prednisone). For more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.  Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.  Over-the-counter drugs can provide some short-term pain relief, and yoga can reduce pain and improve grip strength in some people with CTS.

Prognosis

In general, carpal tunnel syndrome responds well to treatment, but less than half of individuals report their hand(s) feeling completely normal following surgery. Some residual numbness or weakness is common. Most people may need to modify work activity for several weeks following surgery.  Stretching exercises, taking frequent rest breaks, wearing splints to keep wrists straight, and using correct posture and wrist position can help prevent or worsen symptoms. 

What research is being done?

NINDS-funded scientists are studying the factors that lead to long-lasting nerve pain disorders, and how the affected nerves are related to symptoms of numbness, loss of function, and pain. Researchers also are examining biomechanical stresses that contribute to the nerve damage responsible for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in order to better understand, treat, and prevent it. Other NIH research will evalute the effects of acupuncture and other therapies in tailoring individual tretment programs. 

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Patient Organizations
American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin
CA
Rocklin, CA 95677-0850
Tel: 916-632-0922; 800-533-3231
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta
GA
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: 800-311-3435; 404-639-3311; 404-639-3543
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Dr., Rm. 4C02 MSC 2350
Bethesda
MD
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Tel: 301-496-8190; 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington
DC
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 800-321-OSHA (6742)
Publications

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome fact sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations