Upper Hand Therapy and Training Specializing in Upper Extremity Injuries and Personal Training Phone – 617.306.5130 Fax – 617.393.0283 P.O. Box 643 Watertown, MA 02472 www.uhtt.com Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome results from the entrapment of and/or pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. The median nerve and the tendons of the finger flexors and thumb share a common tunnel at the wrist which is bound on three sides by bones and on the fourth side by a ligament. Any process that decreases the space in the tunnel may result in the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. When the pressure from the swelling becomes great enough to change the way the nerve works, numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the thumb, index, middle and one half of the ring finger especially at night and with prolonged gripping. Mild cases can be treated with a splint to rest the wrist followed by exercises. In moderate to severe cases, steroid injections into the carpal canal to decrease swelling may be used in addition to splinting. Those cases that do not respond to non-surgical treatment and those that are diagnosed late often require surgery. Changing activities or keeping the wrist in a straight position may help reduce the swelling within the tunnel, allowing more room for the nerve. Wearing wrist splints during the night may relieve the symptoms that interfere with sleep. Antiinflammatory medication taken by mouth or injected into the carpal tunnel may help reduce the swelling within the carpal tunnel.