Skip to main content

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the nerves in your hand. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your hand. This passageway houses the median nerve and other tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop when these tissues swell or press down on the median nerve. 

carpal tunnel syndrome treatment santa barbara

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

The main symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain in the hand and arm. The pain may be mild or severe. You may feel tingling, numbness, or burning in your hand. Additionally, you may experience difficulty gripping things or using your hand.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop for a number of reasons. The most common cause is repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. This can include tasks such as typing, sewing, or using tools. Other causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer treatments

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

There are a number of treatment options available for carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment may include rest, ice packs, splinting or bracing, medications such as pain relievers or corticosteroids, and surgery. 

The surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is called carpal tunnel release surgery. This surgery involves cutting the ligament that surrounds the carpal tunnel. This will help to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. Carpal tunnel release surgery is a common orthopedic procedure with a very quick recovery time. 

Most people who have this surgery experience relief from their symptoms. 

Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, you can: 

  • Alternate the hand you use to do tasks.
  • Avoid doing activities that put stress on your hands and wrists.
  • Stretch your hands and wrists regularly.

If you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to see a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help relieve pain and prevent further damage.