Symptoms and Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an irritation of the median nerve in the wrist that can result in numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand. The median nerve runs from the forearm to the hand and passes through the wrist tunnel (carpal tunnel) located in the central part of the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly bothersome at night. 

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, pain (usually a burning pain), and tingling in your thumb, index, and middle fingers; tingling, numbness, or pain, which may move up your arm to your elbow; hand weakness, dropping objects, and difficulty feeling and handling small objects. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are often worse at night and may sometimes be temporarily relieved by "shaking out" the hands.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.