Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Last Updated: March 15, 2022

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The symptoms include numbness, tingling, or pain in specific parts of the hand.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The symptoms include numbness, tingling, or pain in certain parts of the hand innervated by the median nerve, as shown in Figure 1. It affects around[1][2] 3-6% of people, and subjective symptoms are associated[3] with anxiety, depression, and lower quality of life. The major biomechanical risk factors[4] for developing CTS are repetitive motions and forceful motions of the hand, as well as the combination of these two movement patterns. Non-hand-related associations exist[5] as well, such as not exercising, poor overall physical health, and lack of job satisfaction. Other disease states, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, are also associated[6] with CTS.


Compression of the median nerve may cause biochemical changes in the nerve that contribute to damage. Animal studies show that crushing[7] rat nerves increases oxidative stress levels. Furthermore, humans with CTS show higher levels of oxidative stress both in their hand tendon[8] and globally[9].

Examine Database: Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
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  1. ^Ferry S, Pritchard T, Keenan J, Croft P, Silman AJEstimating the prevalence of delayed median nerve conduction in the general populationBr J Rheumatol.(1998 Jun)
  2. ^Atroshi I, Gummesson C, Johnsson R, Ornstein E, Ranstam J, Rosén IPrevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome in a general populationJAMA.(1999 Jul 14)
  3. ^Jerosch-Herold C, Houghton J, Blake J, Shaikh A, Wilson EC, Shepstone LAssociation of psychological distress, quality of life and costs with carpal tunnel syndrome severity: a cross-sectional analysis of the PALMS cohortBMJ Open.(2017 Nov 3)
  4. ^Kozak A, Schedlbauer G, Wirth T, Euler U, Westermann C, Nienhaus AAssociation between work-related biomechanical risk factors and the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome: an overview of systematic reviews and a meta-analysis of current researchBMC Musculoskelet Disord.(2015 Sep 1)
  5. ^Goodson JT, DeBerard MS, Wheeler AJ, Colledge ALOccupational and biopsychosocial risk factors for carpal tunnel syndromeJ Occup Environ Med.(2014 Sep)
  6. ^Karpitskaya Y, Novak CB, Mackinnon SEPrevalence of smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and thyroid disease in patients with carpal tunnel syndromeAnn Plast Surg.(2002 Mar)
  7. ^Senoglu M, Nacitarhan V, Kurutas EB, Senoglu N, Altun I, Atli Y, Ozbag DIntraperitoneal Alpha-Lipoic Acid to prevent neural damage after crush injury to the rat sciatic nerveJ Brachial Plex Peripher Nerve Inj.(2009 Nov 25)
  8. ^Freeland AE, Tucci MA, Barbieri RA, Angel MF, Nick TGBiochemical evaluation of serum and flexor tenosynovium in carpal tunnel syndromeMicrosurgery.(2002)
  9. ^Demirkol A, Uludag M, Soran N, Aksoy N, Gun K, Incebıyık S, Gurgen I, Vural M, Altun Y, Kesiktas FNTotal oxidative stress and antioxidant status in patients with carpal tunnel syndromeRedox Rep.(2012)
Examine Database References
  1. Serrapeptase - A Panagariya, A K SharmaA preliminary trial of serratiopeptidase in patients with carpal tunnel syndromeJ Assoc Physicians India.(1999 Dec)
  2. Astaxanthin - Macdermid JC, Vincent JI, Gan BS, Grewal RA blinded placebo-controlled randomized trial on the use of astaxanthin as an adjunct to splinting in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndromeHand (N Y).(2012 Mar)
  3. Red Light Therapy - Bekhet AH, Ragab B, Abushouk AI, Elgebaly A, Ali OIEfficacy of low-level laser therapy in carpal tunnel syndrome management: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Lasers Med Sci.(2017-Aug)