Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common causes of hand pain that prompts doctor visits. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve at the base of the wrist. The tendons and the median nerve pass underneath a tight ligament, shown on the graphic as the transverse carpal ligament, and anything that compromises this space tends to precipitate these symptoms. The tendons are very resilient, but the nerve is very sensitive to pressure and stops working, causing tingling and numbness in the thumb, index, long and usually part of the ring finger. This numbness is also associated with a painful and burning sensation. Anything that causes pressure in this area can cause these symptoms. Swelling of the tendons caused by overuse of the hand, fluid retention (such as during sleep or pregnancy), arthritis in the wrist joint, or injury to the area all can be major factors. Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypo-thyroidism and diabetes are frequently associated with a higher incidence of this problem.