CTS is still around

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) had its prime time in the spotlight in the 90's. Though talk of CTS in mainstream news has simmered down, it has not gone away.


Like any chronic pain condition, CTS is an invisible illness that your friends, family, or colleagues may not understand or empathize with. It can be misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late too.


Learn more about CTS below, talk to your doctor if you think you have CTS, and consider Wrist-Aid MD as part of your treatment plan.

Get the facts

All About

Carpal Tunnel



Cost of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Affects up to 9.6M* people in the US

CTS affects 3-6% of working adults in the United States 

*based on 2019 population estimates

Causes 2nd Longest Time Away from Work

On average, CTS leads to 28 (recovery/disabled) days away from work.

Costs the US economy >$2B each year

Lost wages, lost productivity, treatment costs... make CTS one of the most expensive peripheral neuropathies.


What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is an anatomical structure at the wrist level, formed by the carpal bones and the rigid transverse carpal ligament. This rigid tunnel provides a secure compartment that protects structures, such as the median nerve, from external mechanical damage.


The median nerve lies inside the carpal tunnel along with 9 tendons that help control the movement of the fingers. This nerve supplies feeling and sense to the index finger, middle finger, and thumb-side half of the ring finger. This is why symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are typically felt in these fingers and the thumb-side of the hand.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) may be caused by mechanical and/or pathophysiological reasons. In general, conditions or situations that decrease the free moving area in the carpal tunnel, increase the rigidity of the tunnel components, increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel, chronically compress the median nerve, or traumatically injure the median nerve, are associated with increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mechanical Risk Factors
  • Prolonged bending of the wrist

  • Repetitive and forceful use of the hand and wrist

  • Exposure to vibration

  • Tumors, cysts or lesions in the carpal tunnel

Medical Risk Factors
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy (due to fluid retention)

  • Diabetes (due to reduced nerve damage threshold)

  • Vitamin B deficiency

Wrist-Aid MD is founded on the Biomechanics of the wrist
  • Worn on the wrist, Wrist-Aid MD stretches the tissue and opens up the carpal tunnel

  • Increased carpal tunnel area and improved blood flow helps the median nerve heal

  • This can provide symptom relief in any case that leads to compression of the nerve in the wrist, including inflammation

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Top Symptoms of CTS:

  • pain

  • numbness

  • tingling, and

  • weakness

in the region of the hand supplied by the median nerve (the index, middle, and ring fingers).


Patients often also report symptoms radiating into the palm and wrist, but if symptoms are only experienced on the pinky finger or ulnar side of the hand, the condition is more likely to be ulnar neuropathy than carpal tunnel syndrome.


CTS is often confused with other upper neuropathies such as radial neuropathy, tendinopathy, tennis elbow, or radiculopathy, because a damaged nerve upstream causes symptoms to radiate downstream near the wrist.

Diagnosis of CTS is often done by your primary care physician, based on some or all of the following:

Procedures for Diagnosis of CTS
  • Examination of medical history and symptoms

  • Phalen's maneuver

  • Tinel's sign

  • Nerve conduction study (NCS, the gold standard)

  • Electromography (EMG, only if NCS is inconclusive)

  • Reduction in symptoms after corticosteroid treatment (also a treatment option)


Conservative Treatment

Wrist splinting is frequently employed as an early intervention for mild to moderate CTS, and the approach has a clear advantage over surgery in terms of cost, invasiveness, and complication rate.


Other conservative, non-surgical methods include ultrasonic therapy, laser therapy, oral steroids, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), oral vitamin B6, local injection of corticosteroids, work place modifications, and yoga.


Overall, a review of several randomized controlled trials demonstrate both wrist splinting and steroids are useful as initial treatment for improving symptoms, but their effects are temporary. This temporary effect is seemingly because they do not alter the morphology of the TCL and neighboring ligaments as CTR surgery does.

Wrist-Aid MD lifts the wrist tissue and decompresses the median nerve

  • Wrist-Aid MD continually lifts up on the wrist tissue above the carpal tunnel

  • Nerve and tendons inside can move

  • Blood flow improves

  • Nerve heals and changes in symptoms are evident as early as 2 weeks


  1. ​"2017 Commissioning Guide: Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH), British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng). Version 1.1. London, UK.

  2. Dale, Ann Marie et al. “Prevalence and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in US working populations: pooled analysis of six prospective studies.” Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health vol. 39,5 (2013): 495-505. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3351

  3. Hayward, A C et al. “Primary care referral protocol for carpal tunnel syndrome.” Postgraduate medical journal vol. 78,917 (2002): 149-52. doi:10.1136/pmj.78.917.149

  4. Ibrahim, I et al. “Carpal tunnel syndrome: a review of the recent literature.” The open orthopaedics journal vol. 6 (2012): 69-76. doi:10.2174/1874325001206010069

  5. Jablecki, CK et al. "Practice parameter: Electrodiagnostic studies in carpal tunnel syndrome. Report of the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Neurology Jun 2002, 58 (11) 1589-1592; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.58.11.1589


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