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Numbness or tingling of the hand may indicate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a medical condition afflicting an estimated 75 million people globally that can cause pain, numbness, and discomfort in your hand. Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is generally successful, but early diagnosis is essential. If you suspect that you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact your doctor.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms usually appear in the thumb, index, and middle fingers and may travel up to your shoulder. It is also common for these symptoms to worsen at night.



How does it happen?

In the center of the wrist, there is a space called the carpal tunnel where a major nerve (the median nerve) and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. The roof of this tunnel is formed by a strong ligament called the transverse carpal ligament.

When there is swelling in the carpal tunnel, pressure builds on the median nerve, which supplies most of the feeling and movement to the fingers and thumb. When this pressure becomes great enough to compress the median nerve, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may occur.

What can cause it?


Swelling in the carpal tunnel may be heredity or caused by diabetes, thyroid problems, fractures, or arthritis.


Fluid retention during pregnancy may create Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms, but these symptoms will typically go away after delivery.


Repetitive hand motion and activities that involve grasping, squeezing, or clipping can make the symptoms worse, but for most people the actual cause is unclear.

Reference document: LIT-SRDTP-SITE Rev A (04/2022)