Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition caused by the compression, or squeezing of the median nerve which travels through the anatomical structure known as the carpal tunnel. This so-called tunnel connects the distal forearm to the middle section of the deep plane of the palm, going through the palmer side of the wrist. The tunnel, or canal, is narrow, so when one of the nine long flexor tendons which pass through it become swollen or begin to degenerate, the narrowing within the canal presses on the median nerve, causing the condition.
CTS can cause pain, paresthesias, and at times weakness in the distribution of the median nerve. Sufferers not only feel pain, but can fell numbness and tingling in their arm, even as far up the arm as the shoulder and even the neck. Most of the discomfort is experienced at night due to improper sleeping positions.
There are stretching exercises which can help alleviate the symptoms of CTS, using the wrist, hand and fingers as well as the use of splints at night. Corticosteroid injections are also used to treat CTS, and if the syndrome is intolerable surgery can be prescribed.