CTS is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The median nerve, as this nerve is called, runs from the brain and spinal cord all the way to the tips of the fingers, and is what allows the brain to communicate with the hands.
The condition earned the name because of the tunnel-like structure of the median nerve as it passes through in the wrist area: a tight ligament at the top, and the wrist bones at the bottom, both of which are extremely inflexible structures. Because of this, when there is a buildup of pressure in the carpal tunnel area, the nerve, pushing up against rigid material on all sides, has nowhere to go. It gets squished, causing it to function improperly.
Allowing this condition to persist can lead to several short terms and long term consequences for you. Along with pain, tingling, and feelings of numbness, primarily in the fingers and hands area, leaving your carpal tunnel syndrome untreated can cause permanent medial nerve damage.
Over time, you may experience a decrease in grip strength, as the muscles of the hand begin to atrophy. The severity of your pain and cramping will also increase, as the nerve begins to deteriorate due to the tremendous swelling around it. Your nerve impulses may slow down, you may lose feeling in your fingers, and lose coordination and strength at the bottom of your thumb area. Eventually, untreated CTS can result in permanent muscle tissue deterioration, and ultimately, complete loss of all hand functions. If part of the reason for your carpal tunnel systems is from being online all the time or excessive playing of video games, you should definitely check out my book on Internet and Gaming Addiction.
While the link between repetitive movements and carpal tunnel syndrome is still not fully verified, employees who work in places that require repetitive tasks to be performed with their hands tend to experience the longest absences from their jobs and have a lower production rate due to the symptoms described above.
While there is a host of symptoms that you can experience due to CTS, the telltale signs all revolve around pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers area. The most common symptoms include pain in the hand and wrist area, a feeling of weakness in certain hand muscles, and unusual tingling and numbing sensations in particular areas of the hand. Additionally, people suffering from CTS often comment that shaking their hand forcefully tends to relieve their symptoms temporarily.
While the areas affected by pain tend to be in the hand and wrist, the feelings of hurt may spread to the lower and even the upper arm. Pain is also generally reported as being acuter at night, possibly because some people turn over during their sleep and end up with their hand underneath them, with the full weight of their body on top of it.
To be certain that you have CTS and not just temporary feelings of pain, tingling, and numbness, there are some tests that either you or medical professionals can administer for a complete diagnosis.