Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


of the US adult population is living with carpal tunnel syndrome, that’s 4-10 million Americans.


CTS accounts for 90% of all entrapment neuropathies (compressed nerve disorders).


Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur at any age but is most common ages 40 to 60.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that is characterized by pressure to one of the major nerves in the hand, called the median nerve. The median nerve enters the hand through the carpal tunnel, also called the carpal canal, which is a narrow passageway that goes from the wrist to the hand.

As a result of this pinched nerve, carpal tunnel syndrome can result in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the wrist and hand.

Who is affected?

Anyone can be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. People generally show symptoms of the condition between ages 40 and 70, and your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome increase as you get older. [1] [2] Women are twice as likely to be affected by the condition as men. [1]

There isn’t a single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are a number of factors that might make you more at risk of developing the condition. Some of these factors include wrist fractures, obesity, and other conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. [3]

What happens in your body?

  • Frequent numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand, especially in the thumb, index, and middle fingers
    • This symptom often first appears at night, and may wake you up from sleep. As the condition progresses, this sensation may occur during the day, while you’re doing manual (hand-related) tasks such as driving or talking on the phone.
  • Hand weakness that can lead to dropping objects or difficulty performing other manual tasks

Some people with carpal tunnel syndrome may feel more electric shock-like sensations in their hands, while others may feel as if their fingers feel swollen. All of these symptoms are a result of the pinched median nerve.

How do I know if I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

It is important to get an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible to make sure that the condition does not worsen. The best way to do this is by visiting your doctor and, if possible, getting a referral to a specialized care provider. One doctor that specifically treats carpal tunnel syndrome is a neurologist.

Some ways that your doctor can assess whether you have the condition is through inquiring about your symptoms, and conducting a physical examination or medical tests (such an X-ray, electromyography, or nerve conduction study).