The carpal band - in Latin also as Flexor retinaculum - is a band in the area of the wrist and consists of tight connective tissue.
From an anatomical point of view, it runs across the tendons of the muscles that are responsible for flexing the wrist. The root word carpal - or in Latin carpi - denotes the localization of the structures at the wrist. The carpal ligament forms, so to speak, the roof of the so-called carpal tunnel, which is consequently located on the inside of the forearm at the transition between forearm and hand. The lateral and posterior boundaries of this tunnel represent different carpal bones.
Strictly speaking, the carpal ligament represents no independent band rather than a thickening of the fascia to understand which surrounds the entire forearm.
The function of the carpal ligament is, on the one hand, to shorten it Tendons flat on the wrist when the hand is flexed to fix. On the other hand, it forms six so-called connective tissue rays going down vertically into the depths Tendon fan in which the individual tendons and nerves come to rest. And of course protects to a certain extent, because of its coarse consistency, the underlying structures against external influences.
Carpal ligament pain
Pain in the area around the carpal ligament usually occurs as part of inflammatory processes on the ligament itself or the structures below it, such as Tendinitis (please refer: Tendonitis on the wrist) or the Narrowing of the nerves running there. In particular the Median nerve is usually involved in such processes and is often the trigger for the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The main causes of this type of inflammatory process are mostly overload in the context of heavy work with the hands, many activities with bent hands such as breastfeeding mothers or domestic work. The largest proportion of patients with these pain symptoms are, however Menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 60.
The pain becomes worse, especially after extensive stress on the structures mentioned. A Immobilization by means of forearm splints however, can help.
The carpal tunnel syndrome
Under the Carpal tunnel syndrome one understands a clinical picture, which by the Narrowing of the carpal tunnel arises. The causes can vary from case to case. What they all have in common, however, is the compression of the Median nerve, the median arm nerve. If this is only mild, those affected usually only have one Numbness on the inside of the thumb, index and middle finger. The more this nerve is squeezed, the more pronounced the symptoms. This can then from Wrist pain and forearm up to weakness and atrophy individual hand muscles are sufficient. In the late stage of the disease is usually the Muscle group around the thumb most affected by the muscle weakness, which can make gripping and fist movements significantly more difficult under certain circumstances.
In milder cases, treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome can initially be carried out with conservative measures, such as wearing a Night splint to relieve the wrist (see: Carpal tunnel splint). However, if the symptoms persist despite these measures, the therapy of choice usually consists of the surgical cutting of the carpal ligamentin order to create more space for the structures underneath, and especially for the nerves.