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Let’s start with a bit of anatomy and physiology. The carpal tunnel is a rigid canal in the wrist, created by a sheet of fibrous tissue forming its roof, and the carpal bones forming the floor. The tendons of forearm muscles run through this canal, as well as the median nerve. The median nerve supplies motor, sensory, and autonomic innervations to the thumb, index, and middle fingers, in addition to the palmar aspect of the ring finger.
Alright, now the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not clear, but there are a number of risk factors, including jobs and activities that involve repetitive movement of the wrist, such as musicians, carpenters, excessive cell phone use, and certain sports, such as golf, tennis, or racquetball. Median nerve compression is generally more common in clients who are assigned females at birth since they tend to have a smaller carpal tunnel. Hormonal imbalance, which can occur during the premenstrual period, pregnancy, and menopause, can also increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Other risk factors include conditions that may cause swelling inside the carpal tunnel, including diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as acromegaly, which is when excessive growth hormone causes excessive growth in the adult bones and tissues, which can narrow the carpal tunnel.
Regardless of what triggers carpal tunnel syndrome, pathology-wise, there’s increased pressure inside the carpal tunnel, which results in obstruction of venous outflow. This leads to fluid moving from the blood vessels and into the carpal tunnel, which increases the pressure even more, ultimately causing median nerve compression.
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