Carpal Tunnel Syndrome…and Wrist-Hand Pain
Dr. Jimmy Enrique Gil Jr
MS 4 Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara
Dr. Felix Roque
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
More than 3 million people per year in the United States alone suffer from the symptoms and signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). So what is this common syndrome that affects so many people each year?
A small nerve called the median nerve passes through the wrist and into the hand and is responsible for much of the feelings and sensation in the thumb and first three fingers of the hand. This nerve passes through a compartment known as the carpal tunnel and when it becomes compressed as it passes through the wrist patients feel many of the common symptoms associated with CTS such as numbness and tingling. The type and intensity of the symptoms vary depending on the severity of the compression as well as the strength of the relevant structures of the hand.
Nerves are responsible for two aspects of the way we function—sensory and motor skills—in other words, how we feel the environment around us, and how we are capable of responding to it. When this carpal tunnel area becomes compressed the median nerve running through it begins to suffer and loses some of its normal functions. Sensory fibers are often affected first before motor fibers. This explains the reason why numbness is one of the first symptoms people with CTS experience.
Authors: Stephanie M. Morfi, Biology, Ramapo College of New Jersey; PAIN RELIEF CENTER
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