What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. The carpal tunnel is made up of the carpals (wrist bones) underneath and a band of strong ligaments (flexor retinaculum) over the top. A number of structures pass through the carpal tunnel including the median nerve. When pressure increases within this space the median nerve can become irritated resulting in numbness, pins and needles and pain on the palmar surface of the hand. Often these symptoms are worse at night. Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are numerous including fractures, dislocations, ganglions and it may also be experienced during pregnancy. However it is more common following either a prolonged external pressure to the wrist (eg. tight watch or wristband) or following repetitive strain injuries (RSI) of the wrist.

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