Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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What Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mean?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that causes numbness,
tingling and weakness in the arm and hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to the
pressure exerted on the median nerve of the wrist. If proper treatment is not received, the injury can lead to permanent damage.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common repetitive strain injuries for computer professionals.

Techopedia Explains Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In the human forearm, several tendons as well as the median nerve run to the hand via the carpal tunnel. The movement and sense of feeling in the first three fingers and thumb is controlled by the median. Any pressure exerted on the median nerve can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. However, diseases or swelling can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of the disease include pain in the fingers as well as numbness in palm and fingers. As symptoms worsen, people experience decreased grip strength and often find it difficult to perform manual tasks. Physical examination of hands and arms can provide for early diagnosis and treatment. The tenderness of the wrist is examined. Specific tests are available for detecting carpal tunnel syndrome such as the Phalen test.

Mild symptoms can treated with rest, ice on the wrist, wearing a wrist splint or by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery is also considered as an option in cases where home care measures cannot help. The disease can be prevented by an active lifestyle, ergonomic conditions for working, by taking breaks, keeping wrists straight and using correct posture and wrist position, especially while working.

Computer professionals are advised to adjust the height and angle of their chairs and take breaks from constant typing in order to help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Use of ergonomic furniture specific for computer usage is also recommended.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.