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What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

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Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, aching, tingling or numbness in either one, or both, of your hands. It tends to come on gradually, over a period of weeks. The symptoms are usually worse in the thumb, index and middle fingers, but sometimes it may feel like your whole hand is affected. You may also have an ache extending up the arm to your shoulder or neck.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause numbness or tingling in the shaded area

The symptoms tend to be worse at night and may disturb your sleep but you could also notice it most when you wake up in the morning. Hanging your hand out of bed or shaking it around will often relieve the pain and tingling.

You may not notice the problem at all during the day, though certain activities – such as writing, typing, DIY or housework – can bring on symptoms. However, if the nerve is badly squeezed you may have symptoms throughout the day. Your hand may feel weak, or your fingers numb, or both. You may find that you drop things more often and that activities which require fine finger movements, like writing or fastening buttons, become more difficult.

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