The Five Major Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening in the middle of the wrist where the median nerve passes through. The median nerve provides sensation and motor function to the wrist, forearm, and hands. When the median nerve gets compressed, a condition called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The exact cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is unknown but it is linked to many risk factors.

  • Some people generally have smaller carpal tunnel making them three times more likely to have a compressed median nerve
  • Wrist injuries such as fractures
  • Inflammation around the wrist like arthritis
  • Tumor, cyst, or bone spur 
  • High-intensity jobs (hammering)
  • Long-term overuse of the wrist 
  • Excessive wrist movement
  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Old Age

Five Major Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually begin slowly and gradually progress. Due to the usually curled positioning of the wrist when sleeping, most of the symptoms are felt at night and can wake people from sleep. This is also the first reported symptom of most patients diagnosed with the condition.

The symptoms include:

  1. Pain
  2. Numbness
  3. Tingling
  4. Weakness
  5. Electric shock sensation

The above symptoms are felt altogether in the same location around the wrist and hands. The discomfort begins from the wrist and travels throughout the hands towards the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring fingers. Usually, the discomfort is relieved by shaking the hands. 

As carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, the symptoms become more severe and can even result in atrophy (shrinking) of the base of the thumb.


The first thing the doctor will look at is your medical history. The doctor will assess you based on the symptoms you describe and note any risk factors.

The doctor will also test you for the following:

Tinel’s Sign  

This is checked by tapping a finger along the median nerve. When there is damage within the nerve, the person will experience pain and tingling during the process.

Phalen Test (Wrist flexion test) 

The patient will lay his arm and elbow on a table in this test. The doctor will then allow the wrist to freely fall forward. When there is a compression of the median nerve, the patient will experience tingling and numbness within the fingers inside one minute. If these sensations are felt quicker, carpal tunnel syndrome is more severe.


X-rays may be requested if there is a limited range of motion around the wrist or there is evidence of injury or arthritis.

Nerve Conduction studies or Electromyography  

This study will provide details on how well the median nerve is working at controlling the muscles.

Prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be difficult to prevent because there are too many activities that can predispose a person to this condition. The best actions are to avoid twisting and shaking the wrist excessively.

Other measures that can reduce your risk of developing this condition include

  • Keeping your hands and wrists straight while sleeping and when using hand tools
  • Avoiding flexing the wrists in a strong and repetitive motion
  • Taking frequent rests from repetitive hand movements
  • Performing warm-ups in the wrist before doing any activity


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful, debilitating condition that can cause numbness and tingle in the hand. Symptoms may be mild or severe depending on how much pressure has been applied to the median nerve over time. 

If you are experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you can contact us at Belden Village Chiropractic and Wellness Center to help you with the treatment. 



4200 Munson Street NW, Suite B, Canton, Ohio 44718



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