Although the wrist and hand is a small area, it consists of a complex system of muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints which work together to enable us to perform what are known as fine motor skills such as typing or buttoning a shirt. Nerve irritation can be a common cause of symptoms that affect those fine motor skills.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve at the carpal ligaments of the wrist. When the median nerve becomes entrapped common symptoms can include pain, numbness, or tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Weakness can also be present which can make it difficult to perform certain tasks such as sewing or even writing. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most studied form of median nerve entrapment which has made it at times, a default of exclusion. The fact is, the median nerve can be entrapped at many other locations along the arm, from the wrist all the way to the neck. The neck, shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist are all included. Continue reading “Is It Really Carpal Tunnel?” »
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common cause of median nerve entrapment. The tunnel itself lies between the transverse carpal ligament and the bones of the wrist. Along with several tendons, the median nerve must travel through this tunnel. When this space becomes compromised and the nerve is affected it is known as CTS.
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The carpal tunnel is made up of eight small carpal bones that bridge the forearm to the hand. Without these eight little bones, the motion at the wrist would be very restricted and limited to bending a little bit up and a little bit down. Think of all the things you are able to do with a large range of motion at the wrist like tightening a small screw by hand, pulling on a wrench, using a hammer, working under the dash or inside the engine compartment of a car, threading a needle, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and even washing dishes. As you can see, we put our wrists in some pretty strange positions!
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To fully understand how elbow pain develops we need to first understand how the muscles of the elbow are associated with the hand. This is important because the large majority of elbow problems are associated with strain occurring at the wrist and hand, not just the elbow itself.
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