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What causes CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

Everybody has a “Carpal Tunnel.” Doctors call it the “fibro-osseous canal.” It is a narrow, rigid passage made of bones and ligaments at the base of your hand. It houses various tendons and that all-important median nerve.

In Latin, it’s called the canalis carpi or the sulcus carpi. It is the fibro-osseous passageway on the wrist’s palmar side, connecting the distal forearm to the middle compartment of the palm’s deep plane.

Whatever you want to call it, this canal is quite narrow. Whenever any of the ten long flexor tendons passing through it swells or become inflamed, the result is that they fill the canal. That results in the median nerve being squeezed.

That gives the nerve insufficient room – compressing it.

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Pain, weakness and/or numbness in the wrist and hand result, sometimes spreading up the arm. Occasionally, the pain radiates all the way up the shoulder.

The “median nerve” runs from your forearm into the palm. When it is continually pressed or compressed, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur.

The median nerve controls your feelings in the inside of your thumb and your three largest fingers. The median nerve also affects some of the smaller muscles used to move your fingers and thumb.

Often CTS is worse at night, robbing the sufferer of sleep, which makes recovery even more difficult.

There is no standard onset. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can come on slowly or suddenly. However, the best advice for those who suspect they are showing symptoms: don’t ignore it. It is always a mistake with CTS to “tough it out,” ignoring the pain.

If the problem is caught early enough, chances for a complete recovery are far, far better. However, if you ignore the symptoms and the pain is allowed to persist, permanent nerve and muscle damage can follow.

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