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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem leading to wrist and hand pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes from the forearm through a small tunnel into the wrist and hand. This pressure is generally caused by swelling that narrows this small tunnel and can be caused by repetitive wrist motions, pregnancy, or diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
Treatment options include surgery and physical therapy. A recent study of 100 women randomly assigned to either surgery or physical therapy showed equal outcomes in self-reported function, pinch grip and symptoms.