Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is classified as an entrapment neuropathy, where a nerve is irritated due to inflammation or decreased space surrounding it. CTS is considered the most common of these disorders and the latest research estimates the prevalence at 3 to 6% of adults.
The carpal tunnel itself is an area in the wrist where the median nerve and other forearm tendons travel through to reach the hand. This area can become compressed or inflamed through trauma, repetitive use, and pregnancy, leading to irritation of the median nerve. Common symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and loss of strength in the hand and fingers.
Before surgical options for releasing pressure on the carpal tunnel are considered, a course of conservative measures is usually initiated. This can involve the use of wrist splints when sleeping, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, injections into the affected wrist, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, and yoga. Kinesiotaping also falls under the conservative treatment branch and is performed as follows: