Pressure on the median nerve, the nerve that runs down the center of the arm and into the hand, can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and reduced function. People using repetitive hand movements, such as computer operators, hairstylists, and massage therapists, are at a greater risk for developing this disorder. Pregnant women are also highly susceptible. Wrist splints and exercises can ease symptoms of minor carpal tunnel, though advanced cases may require surgery.
The tingling sensation known as pins and needles often develops when an extremity is kept in an awkward position for an extended time, causing blood flow to become interrupted or a nerve to be compressed. People with carpal tunnel syndrome often experience a more intense and unpleasant version of this sensation. Usually, it only affects the thumb and first two fingers, but it can also spread to other areas of the hand and arm.
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