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Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in your hand, wrist, and sometimes forearm. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve and several tough tissues called tendons run through a space in the wrist. This space is called the carpal tunnel.
The repeated hand motions used in work and some hobbies and sports can put pressure on the median nerve. Pregnancy can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Several conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and an underactive thyroid, can also cause it.
You may be able to limit an activity or change the way you do it to reduce your symptoms. You also can take other steps to feel better. If your symptoms are mild, 1 to 2 weeks of home treatment are likely to ease your pain. Surgery is needed only if other treatments do not work.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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