When pressure is placed on the nerve in your wrist from improper alignment or frequent repetitive tasks you may experience numbness, weakness, tingling sensations or even pain. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in your hand, wrist or lower arm. It’s caused by a pinched or irritated nerve in your wrist. Weakness generally occurs in your thumb and first four fingers, but not your little finger.
This sensation may happen when holding a steering wheel, grasping a phone or using a keyboard. Sometimes the numbness can wake you up at night, and make you feel like you need to shake your hand to stop the tingling. The weakness and numbness in your hand may make you drop objects. As the condition worsens, the numbness may become constant. Repetitive work on an assembly line or working with vibrating tools may cause the condition or worsen existing nerve damage.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women. Increased fluid retention in pregnancy and menopause may put additional pressure on the nerve in the wrist. However, carpal tunnel syndrome that is associated with pregnancy often improves on its own after the pregnancy.
A wrist fracture or dislocation may aggravate the nerve in the wrist. Other conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure may also exert pressure on the nerve in your wrist. Drinking a lot of alcohol and increasing age may also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.