The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. Many individuals experience symptoms at night as many people bend their wrists while sleeping, which further compresses the nerve.
Activities that involve gripping, such as holding a hairdryer, phone, or steering wheel, also can bring about these sensations of pain, numbness or tingling. In some cases, this might cause you to drop things or feel clumsy with your hands. In severe cases, sensation in the affected fingers or ability to perform fine motor tasks can be lost permanently.
Additional symptoms of carpal tunnel may include:
- difficulty making a fist
- difficulty gripping objects with the hand(s)
- pain and/or numbness in the hand(s)
- "pins and needles" feeling in the fingers
- swollen feeling in the fingers
- burning or tingling in the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers
- pain and/or numbness that is worse at night, interrupting sleep