Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Maybe not!

One of the common nemesis for people with desk job related work is carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common signs being tingles and numbness in the hand, and in some cases even weakness of the muscles in the hand to the extent that people would find it difficult to hold a glass of water. Often times the reason for this is attributed to Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where there is compression of the median nerve in a natural tunnel formed by the carpal bones and the ligaments at the wrist. There appears to be a general presumption that when ever there is tingles and numbness in the hand it must be due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel is formed by small bones at the wrist called the carpal bones and ligaments which form a tunnel to allow passage of blood vessels and median nerve to the hand and fingers).

However, in several occasions that is not the case. In this article I would like to introduce two more possible yet not very popular causes that could result in tingles and numbness in the hand.

Pronator Teres Syndrome

Pronator Teres is a muscle in the forearm (see picture). The Median nerve travels in the forearm through the two heads of the Pronator Teres muscles. 

When there is severe tightness or spasm in the muscle due to an injury it can cause compression on the median nerve resulting in Tingles and numbness in the hand as well.

Thoracic outlet syndrome

The nerves and blood vessels travels through the muscles in the neck and the chest before coming in to the arm. 

When there is tightness in those muscles (often preceded by poor posture), it can cause compression of the neuro-vascular bundle resulting in symptoms of tingles, numbness and weakness in the hand as well.

There are several other causative factors too that can cause tingles and numbness in the hand beyond carpal tunnel syndrome and the factors mentioned above. The important thing here is to understand this concept and realize that there are other factors as well.

If you or someone whom you know have complaints of tingles and numbness in the hand, please consult a regulated health professional such as a physiotherapist to get an extensive assessment and identify the causative and contributing factors for the symptoms.

It is important to identify and arrive at the correct diagnosis and have a treatment plan to not only address the symptoms but also to have an exercise program and ergonomic strategies to prevent this from happening again.

References and credits:

  1. Heading picture: from Pixabay: Downloaded on 23 Jan 2021.
  2. Picture 1 and 2: downloaded on 23 Jan 2021 
  3. Picture 3: Downloaded on 23 Jan 2021

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The information contained in this topic is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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