CTS Underlying Cause
The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. This nerve provides sensation to the hand and controls muscles in the hand. When the carpal tunnel becomes swollen, the median nerve becomes irritated, resulting in pain, numbness and weakness in the hand.
Causes of irritation and swelling of the carpal tunnel include:
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- MacDermid JC, Wessel J. Clinical diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome: a systematic review. J Hand Ther. 2004 Apr-Jun;17(2):309-19. 
- Michlovitz SL. Conservative interventions for carpal tunnel syndrome. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2004 Oct;34(10):589-600.