Don't wait any longer to find relief for your carpal tunnel.

Find out if you're a candidate today!

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes the carpal tunnel to become inflamed, swollen, or restricted. The carpal tunnel is a passageway of ligaments and tendons that houses the median nerve, which is the nerve responsible for transmitting motor and sensory signals from the hand and wrist to the brain.

When the carpal tunnel becomes restricted or swollen, it can pinch the median nerve or add pressure to it, thus causing disruptions to normal nerve signaling. Depending on the severity of this condition, people with CTS can begin to experience pain, numbness, tingling, or hand weakness.

Although in most cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome stems from a combination of factors, it can also be the result of a direct cause. Below we’ll look at the causes and risk factors for CTS.


Direct trauma to the wrist, resulting in a dislocation or fracture, can cause a misalignment or alteration of the wrist joint. This may lead to a narrowing of the carpal tunnel, which irritates and adds pressure onto the median nerve.

Repetitive Hand Movements

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome might be an occupational risk in professions that require repetitive hand movements, such as using vibrating tools, writing on a keyboard, or working on an assembly line. 

Repetitive hand or wrist movements performed over long periods can lead to excessive stress, inflammation, and microdamage to the ligaments and tendons that compose the carpal tunnel. 

Health Conditions (i.e.: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes)

Some conditions can worsen damage to the median nerve and increase inflammation of the carpal tunnel area. Medical conditions that can lead to CTS include:

  • Arthritis – Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause the body to produce too much inflammation, which has a detrimental effect on the wrist joint’s components, such as the ligaments, tendons, and bones. The high levels of inflammation can irritate and cause swelling in the carpal tunnel, thus compressing the median nerve. 
  • Diabetes – Inadequately controlled blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage, leading to interference with proper median nerve signaling.
  • Thyroid disorders – Hypothyroidism (having an underactive thyroid) can be a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. Although the connection between the two conditions isn’t fully understood, hypothyroidism can cause fluid retention, which might lead to swelling that compresses the median nerve. 

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes, such as the ones that take place during menopause and pregnancy, can trigger Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Firstly, hormonal imbalances can cause a build-up of fluids, thus leading to swelling in the wrist and added pressure to the median nerve. 

Risk Factors

Although the factors below are not direct causes of CTS, they can put you at greater risk of developing this condition. Some risk factors to watch out for include:

  • Gender – CTS is more common in women because of the smaller wrist and carpal tunnel structure. 
  • Smoking – Smoking affects how blood vessels work, thus reducing the blood supply to the median nerve and impairing its normal functioning.
  • Obesity – Gaining excessive weight can lead to the build-up of fluids in the carpal tunnel area, which can compress the median nerve. Obesity is also a risk factor for diabetes, which can cause nerve damage. 
  • A family history of CTS – A family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can put you at greater risk of developing this condition.
Get back to doing what you love - fill out our candidate form to see if you're a candidate

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can manifest itself with a wide range of symptoms. For many, CTS is nothing more than a minor, temporary issue, such as for pregnant women. However, if left unaddressed, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can lead to acute and chronic pain, and even cause irreversible nerve damage

Most of the symptoms of CTS derive from the fact that a compressed median nerve is unable to properly transmit pain, touch, vibration, and hand movement signals to the brain. Let’s look at these in more detail below. 


A compressed median nerve can lead to pain, which is made worse by irritation, swelling, and inflammation. The sensations of pain and discomfort can radiate to the hand, wrist, and fingers to which the median nerve is connected. The pain intensifies and becomes more noticeable at night, which causes sleep disturbances in 80% of people with CTS


Abnormal sensations such as tingling and “electric shock-like” feelings indicate that the compression on the median nerve interferes with how touch sensations travel to the brain. These sensations are more noticeable in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, to which the median nerve is connected.


In severe cases, the compression on the median nerve severs the nerve connection between the hand and the brain. This can lead to numbness in the hand and fingers when the signals related to touch, temperature, and vibration are inhibited. 

Weakness in the Hand

The median nerve controls the movements of the fingers, enables pinching motions, and sends signals to the brain relating to the position of the hands in space. When these sensory and motor signals fail to reach the brain, you might begin to experience weakness in the hand, clumsiness, and loss of pinching strength. 

Regenerative Orthopedics Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel

Today, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be the most expensive upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorder in the U.S. This condition is responsible for the 450,000 carpal tunnel release surgeries performed each year in America, and cost the national healthcare system over $2 billion annually.

But the impact of undergoing carpal tunnel release surgery is much greater than these figures show. For people with CTS, open or endoscopic surgery involves months of rehabilitation and immobilization, as well as significant post-surgery downtime.

Luckily, regenerative orthopedic medicine now offers patients non-surgical and non-invasive alternatives to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Let’s look at the ones combined by Orthagenex as part of the customized CTS treatment programs offered.

Concentrated PRP for Carpal Tunnel

Orthagenex’s PRP procedures involve a refined methodology of creating super-concentrated platelet-rich plasma that is far superior to standard PRP solutions. The extraction and concentration process of platelets, performed under strict protocols, is designed to ensure a higher concentration of growth factors — 10 – 40x over baseline value. This super-concentrated PRP approach aims to optimize patient outcomes by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. These protocols bring together advanced imaging guidance, meticulous sterile techniques, and the precise application of super-concentrated PRP to optimize the therapeutic benefits of the treatment.

Through this, Orthagenex has been able to offer treatments that not only tackle a wide array of orthopedic conditions with PRP alone, including foot and ankle tendon tears. This is particularly beneficial for patients seeking non-invasive treatments for joint and soft tissue injuries and conditions.

Today, over 30 randomized controlled trials of PRP exist, showing how this therapy helps the body heal itself by its stimulating effect on the stem cells within the targeted area. In the case of using PRP to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a 2015 study showed that a single injection of PRP was effective in making the pain disappear in 60% of patients, while a further 20% of patients experienced significant improvements.

Image Guided Stem Cell Injections for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At Orthagenex, we continuously strive to integrate advanced techniques to address orthopedic challenges, notably including our Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) injections for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This specialized method involves the precise administration of bone marrow concentrate rich in stem cells directly into the affected wrist area or deteriorated tissue. We achieve this level of precision through imaging guidance using MSK ultrasound and fluoroscopy, ensuring unmatched accuracy throughout the procedure. The result is a boost to the body’s natural healing mechanisms, facilitating the restoration of impaired tissues.

Patients choosing Bone Marrow Concentrate injections for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Orthagenex benefit from a non-invasive approach that demands minimal downtime. This is in contrast to traditional surgeries which often necessitate extended and painful recovery periods to regain wrist strength and functionality. With the bone marrow concentrate injections offered at Orthagenex, our goal is to present patients with an alternative, circumventing these demanding recovery phases.


If the pain, numbness, and discomfort caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome have begun to affect your life, you might begin to think that surgery is the only option left. Luckily, there are valid treatment options that are non-invasive and non-surgical.

If you are ready to take the first step towards regaining the health of your hand and wrist, Orthagenex can help you access a regenerative medicine treatment program customized to your own needs.

Not sure where to go? See all locations we offer treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome pain.

Learn more about our treatment for carpal tunnel.

Fill out our candidate form to see if our procedures are right for you.