Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful disorder of the wrist and hand caused by compression of the median nerve as it enters the hand through the narrow "tunnel" formed by the wrist bones. Repeated movements of the hand and wrist - such as typing, working on an assembly line, or piano playing - can cause inflammation of the tissues surrounding the nerve and compression of the nerve. This causes pain and stiffness in the hand and wrist, along with weakness, numbness, and tingling in the fingers. Fluid retention during menstrual periods or pregnancy can also compress the nerve and cause CTS.
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