Part 1: What Is the Carpal Tunnel?

Let us review the structure of the carpal tunnel first. It is a structure in the wrist, surrounded on three sides by bones at the base of the hand at the location of the wrist. The fourth side, on the side of the palm, is formed by the flexor retinaculum, a structure made of ligaments. Soft tissue, including the tendons of the muscles that move the hand and fingers, blood vessels and median nerve run though this carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an injury that results from the compression of the median nerve at or in the carpal tunnel. This means that the median nerve is squished in the carpal tunnel.

Nerves are important because they allow communication between the brain and the body. The median nerve allows communication between majority of the fingers (1 to 3.5, 3.5 meaning the thumb side of the ring finger) and the brain.

This ergo-tip is a part of an ergo-tip series about musculoskeletal injuries. Please visit the table of contents at for other available posts. There will be one post released every Tuesday.