The median nerve is one of the three major nerves of the forearm and hand. It’s very common
to see entrapment of this nerve due to its location and the repetitive nature of daily activities
and work-life. As it travels down the front of the arm, wrist and hand it provides sensory and
motor input to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger on the palm
Entrapment syndromes occur when soft tissues become overworked and begin to compress
and affect the nerve. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, burning, pins and
needles, and weakness. Carpentry, sewing, playing musical instruments, and computer use are
a few examples of jobs and activities that can contribute to entrapment of the median nerve.
The most well-known condition related to median nerve entrapment is carpal tunnel syndrome
(CTS). With CTS, the nerve gets trapped in the carpal tunnel, which is a space between the
transverse carpal ligament on one side and 9 tendons along with the carpal bones on the other.
Typically due to overuse of the hands and wrist, this space narrows and the nerve is eventually
However, there are other places along the path of this nerve where entrapment can occur. One
of these is at the forearm between the two heads of a muscle known as the pronator teres.
When this is the case, it’s known as pronator teres syndrome. The neck and shoulder should
also be looked at as this area is known to cause entrapment symptoms.