Geek Trivia

The Medical Condition “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” Derives Its Name From?

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Wrist Bones
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Answer: Wrist Bones

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes from the forearm, through the wrist, and into the hand. While the syndrome can be caused by underlying medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes), many cases are the result of occupational hazards.

Numbness, tingling, burning sensations, pain in the wrists or hands, loss of grip strength, and loss of manual dexterity are symptoms often associated with repetitive strain injuries, such as typing for extended periods of time with poor posture and ergonomics, or working in a factory setting where you repeat the same small motions with your hands over and over again. Repeated agitation of the area through vibration and impact (such as you would experience using a jackhammer for hours every day) can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

The name of the condition describes the location of the nerve. The nerve passes through the carpal tunnel which is bounded by the bones of the wrist and flexor retinaculum from connective tissue. In turn, the anatomical name of that area of the body is derived from the Latin word for wrist, “carpus”.

Image by Dr. Jochen Lengerke/Wikimedia.