Wrist brace to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often occur in both hands, but symptoms are usually worse in one hand than the other. You may first notice symptoms at night; people with carpal tunnel syndrome can usually fall asleep, but pain or numbness may wake them up. Mild carpal tunnel symptoms primarily affect the hand and sometimes the forearm, but they can radiate up to the shoulder. Symptoms include:
- Numbness or pain in your hand, forearm, or wrist that awakens you at night. (Shaking or moving your fingers may ease this numbness and pain.)
- Occasional tingling, numbness, "pins-and-needles" sensation, or pain. The feeling is similar to your hand "falling asleep."
- Numbness or pain that worsens while using your hand or wrist, especially when gripping an object with your hand or bending (flexing) your wrist.
- Occasional aching pain in your forearm between your elbow and wrist.
- Stiffness in your fingers when you get up in the morning.
- Symptoms most often occur in the parts of the hand supplied by the median nerve: the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If your little finger is not affected, this may be a sign that the condition is carpal tunnel syndrome, because the little finger is usually controlled by a different nerve than the thumb and other fingers.