Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the wrist and hand caused by pressure on nerves in the wrist. Several nerves and tendons including the median nerve run from the forearm into the hand through a narrow tube in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Movement and feeling of the thumb and the first three fingers are controlled by the median nerve while the little finger is unaffected. People engaged in repetitive hand motions like typing on a computer for several hours a day are most commonly affected by carpal tunnel. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually and can vary from tingling to sharp pain to complete numbness in more severe cases.
1. Tingling or Numbness of the Fingers
The first symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is usually tingling or numbness in the thumb, index, and middle finger. It is usually a feeling of “pins and needles” similar to when the hand or foot falls asleep due to lack of movement. Tingling can also progress into numbness which can become constant over time as carpal tunnel syndrome worsens. To alleviate tingling and numbness, many people who suffer from carpal tunnel try shaking out the hands and fingers to regain complete feeling in the affected nerves.