The carpal tunnel is a passageway through your wrist. Nerves and muscles from your hand and fingers pass through this tunnel and up the arm. Sometimes, however, the important median nerve that supplies motion and feeling to your fingers and hand gets pressed or squeezed. When the nerve function is impaired by this pressure, you have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
The symptoms of CTS are numbness, burning, itching or tingling in your hand or fingers. In severe cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult to grasp objects or to feel hot or cold. Women are three times more likely to have the condition than men. It is rare in children.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Many people believe too many hours spend at a keyboard cause CTS. In fact, any number of factors can cause the condition, including:
- Carpal tunnels that are naturally narrow
- Retention of fluid during pregnancy
- Thyroid conditions
- Regular use of vibrating hand tools
- Inadequate work ergonomics
Your chiropractor can diagnose and treat CTS. He or she may prescribe resting the hand and wrist for a period of time, applying a splint to immobilize the wrist, stretching or strengthening exercises, icing the wrist or joint manipulation.