The Carpal Tunnel is an actual tunnel in the wrist made up of the Carpal Bones below (wrist bones) and a thick ligament known as the Transverse Carpal Ligament, above. Many structures go through the carpal tunnel including the tendons that bend your fingers and a nerve known as the median nerve that helps control movement to the thumb and first 3 fingers as well.
What does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome feel like?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. It can be caused by making the same hand movements over and over, especially if the wrist is bent down (your hands lower than your wrists), or making the same wrist movements over and over.
Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger. You may be able to get relief by shaking your hand.
What if the pain is affecting more of my hand/palm?
The Median Nerve can also become entrapped higher up in the forearm between a muscle known as the Pronator Teres Muscle. This is known as Pronator Teres Syndrome. It is very similar to Carpal Tunnel because the same nerve is entrapped however in Pronator Teres Syndrome, the palm of the hand is tender/painful where it is spared in Carpal Tunnel and different movements bring on the symptoms.