THE TRUTH BY ALLISON THOMAS THE TRUTH ABOUT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME Taking action early is your best defense against this often misunderstood wrist condition 38 FA L L 2019 PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES It's not quite pain ... more like numbness. If you've ever rubbed your sore wrist after a day of typing, you might have wondered whether it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. Most of us think we know what that is, but in reality, the condition is frequently confused with other ailments. Here's a quick definition to get us on the right track: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve- which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand-gets pinched or squeezed at the wrist. CTS affects around 3 percent of adults and becomes more prevalent (and more severe) as we age, and women are three times as likely to be diagnosed with it. "Middle-aged females are the most common population to be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, typically between the ages of 35 and 50," says Taizoon Baxamusa, MD, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. And because CTS tends to worsen over time, understanding what it is can help you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment early on-and lead to a better outcome.