thumb can be symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects the median nerve that runs through your hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome can worsen without treatment, hampering your ability to work and participate in sports or hobbies. Prompt treatment can help relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce symptoms.
In addition to tingling, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include numbness, pain, itching or burning in the palm, thumb and fingers. Pain also can occur in the forearm or palm. You might find that pain increases the more you use your arm or hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can weaken your thumb, making it difficult to grasp doorknobs and other objects. Although you initially might notice symptoms more often during the night, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that you might begin to notice tingling during the day as the condition worsens.
People whose work or hobbies involve repetitive hand movements, making pinching movements with hands or grasping objects with a bent wrist are at higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Working on an assembly line, gardening, using a computer, sewing by hand, playing a musical instrument or working as a mechanic can increase your chances of developing the condition. Participation in certain sports, such as golfing or canoeing, also can cause swelling and inflammation of the tendons. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that women are more likely to develop the condition than men. If a family member has carpal tunnel syndrome or you have a thyroid condition, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, you might be at increased risk. Hormonal changes during the latter part of pregnancy might trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, as can wrist fractures or other injuries.