As seen in the first image below, there are 3 major nerves that provide sensation to the hand. They include the Median Nerve, Ulnar Nerve, and the Radial Nerve. What is important to note, is that these nerves originate from the brain and are comprised of several cervical nerve roots in the neck before joining together to form the awesome super-highway nerves listed above. CTS specifically describes the impingement of the Median Nerve at the level of the wrist.
Common symptoms include:
- Decreased/Altered sensation
CTS occurs when there is too much pressure within the carpal tunnel, a VERY small space where 9 tendons and the Median nerve pass through in order to go into the hand.
Photo Credit: http://cnx.org/content/col11496/1.6/
How would you like it if someone tried to squeeze their body into an already jam-packed elevator? You would be irritated. That's how your nerve is probably feeling.
First of all, it is not entirely advisable that you self-diagnose your problems, but HUGE Kudos for becoming an educated consumer and proactive in your health. What IS advisable, is that you do your research as you have, AND consult a KNOWLEDGEABLE healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or orthopedist.
Conservatively, there are a few things you can try to decrease your symptoms:
- Take FREQUENT rest breaks (this should be no surprise) - taking breaks will prevent tendonitis and decrease pressure through the carpal tunnel
- When typing/playing/performing, try to maintain a neutral wrist position
- Perform wrist stretches - these should be performed SYMPTOM FREE and PAIN FREE
That's all for now. Be happy and healthy!