Carpal tunnel syndrome causes symptoms in one or both hands that, more rarely, may also extend up the arm. Symptoms are caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. This nerve supplies feeling to the thumb, index, middle, and half the ring finger. It also innervates the muscles that move the thumb toward the little finger and move the index finger around in a circle.
Symptoms include: Tingling, burning, or numbness, especially in your thumb and index or middle fingers
Pain or numbness that worsens with:
Wrist, hand, or finger movementSleep (symptoms may wake you)
Hand stiffness or cramping that gets better after:
Shaking the handWaking up in the morning
Weakness or clumsiness of your hand
Loss of grip strengthDifficulty touching your little finger with your thumbFrequently dropping thingsPain extending up your arm
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
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Last reviewed September 2013 by Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS
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