Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Amy Nguyen, DC goes over the signs and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. She gives a thorough explanation of the anatomy of this condition and its various causes. She also compares traditional treatment methods with how Airrosti addresses carpal tunnel syndrome.


Within your arm is the median nerve, which travels from your shoulder and runs down into your hands, passing through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is made of bones and ligaments that protect the nerve as it travels through the wrist.

Primarily, the median nerve functions to provide sensory and motor functions to your thumb, as well as the ring, index, and middle finger. Additionally, the median nerve also controls some muscles within the base of your thumb.

Unfortunately, the carpal tunnel can narrow due to inflammation or swelling of the tendons in the area. When this occurs, irritation and pressure of the nerve can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Woman Holding Her Wrist in Pain


Anyone can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, especially those who use their hands repetitively for work. This condition is commonly seen in office workers, those who do manual labor, or other tasks or activities that require hand or wrist movements.

Often, pressure on the median nerve is the result of awkward, strenuous wrist positions while working or sleeping. In some cases, there may not be one single cause when developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other common factors that can contribute to this condition include:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pre-existing medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes
  • Hormonal changes
  • Previous arm or wrist injuries


While carpal tunnel syndrome can occur at any time, the symptoms are often experienced at night. You may wake up and try to “shake out” the hand or wrist. Furthermore, tingling or numbness may be present in your hand and wrist during the day, accompanied by decreased grip strength. CTS specifically affects the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.

Further symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Hand weakness and difficulty grasping or holding objects
  • Numbness, tingling, or a “shock” feeling in the fingers
  • Pain or a burning sensation that travels through your arm
  • Decreased feeling in your fingers
  • Weakness or swelling sensation in the hand and fingers
  • Itching, tingling, numbness, or pain in the palm of the hand and fingers


Man Receiving Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome in a patient often requires a full medical history as well as a physical exam of the affected area. Wrist flexion tests may be performed to determine if CTS is present.

Depending on the cause and severity, various treatment options may be recommended by your doctor to alleviate pain and encourage recovery, such as:

  •       Wearing wrist splints or braces while sleeping or working
  •       Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
  •       Exercising, in conjunction with physical or manual therapy
  •       Corticosteroid injections
  •       Carpal tunnel release surgery, such as endoscopic surgery

Before surgery, all other options should be exhausted first. In addition to the above-mentioned treatments, try making simple lifestyle changes to your work or exercise habits. Be mindful of how tightly you grip objects or how you position your wrists while typing.

Also, try practicing good posture, as that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Take routine breaks from your work or activities to stretch your arms or wrists out, as well as try alternating hands to perform repetitive motions.

Regardless, you should always consult with your doctor about what treatment options are best for your condition.


Person Typing on Computer Wrist Pain-Free

Should your case of carpal tunnel syndrome be left untreated, it can continue to hinder your quality of life. Working or even performing simple tasks like driving or holding something can become increasingly difficult or painful.

Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome can be corrected and improved with the right care, such as Airrosti. Once scheduled and seen, your Provider will perform a thorough assessment and exam of the affected area, as well as create a personalized treatment plan. In addition, you will also receive injury education, resources, and tools to help remedy your condition and continue your recovery at home.

If you are seeking treatment for your injury, schedule an appointment with Airrosti. We offer both in-clinic and virtual options!

Call us at (800) 404-6050 for more information.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

review icon

Patient Testimonials

Related Posts

Phone Icon

Airrosti Newsletter Sign-up

Search for other injuries

Follow Us on social media

Find An In-Clinic Location (oh, TX, VA, WA, & DC)

Enter Your Zip:  
vip chat illustration

Got Pain?

Book your 15-minute, NO COST video chat with a provider to learn about your injury and treatment options. SIGN ME UP