Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. CTS is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist, such as typing, manual labor, weight lifting or grasping.
Ergonomics become very important. Activities like carrying the baby, nursing and carrying a car seat can put the wrist in a very bad position. When the wrist is poorly positioned, the median nerve becomes compressed in the carpal tunnel. The median nerve supplies sensation to the first three fingers and thumb-side of the ring finger. It also supplies movement to part of the hand. The nerve enters the hand between the wrist bones (called the carpal bones) and the tough membrane that holds the bones together (the transverse carpal ligament). This space is called the carpal tunnel. Since the passageway is rigid, any swelling in this area can cause compression of the nerve (this is also called entrapment of the nerve)