Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is, in fact, a tunnel: it’s a narrow passageway made of bones and ligaments that houses the median nerve, which controls sensation and movement in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. When the ligaments get irritated and swell, they reduce the amount of available space in the carpal tunnel and exert pressure on the nerve, causing pain. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

If the ligaments in the carpal tunnel are inflamed, you may experience pain in the wrist and hand, numbness and/or tingling in the thumb, index, and middle finger, or weakness in the hand. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Mild carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with rest and ice. Some patients may benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or a wrist splint to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Your doctor may decide that corticosteroid injections are an effective form of pain management. In some cases, patients may require surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Haasbeek specializes in treating hand and wrist injuries and conditions and will determine a treatment that’s right for you. The St. Lawrence Health System’s orthopedic practice is also home to St. Lawrence County’s only hand therapy program.