Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a painful and debilitating condition that can lead to loss of function in the hands and wrists. If left untreated, CTS can cause severe disability, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. It’s important to understand the causes and risk factors for CTS so you know what to do to prevent the development of the condition.
1. Repetitive Hand and Wrist Movements
Repetitive hand and wrist movements are one of the most common causes of CTS. Activities such as typing, writing, using a mouse, or working with tools can put excessive strain on the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. This can lead to swelling, inflammation, and compression of the nerve, which can cause CTS.
Pregnant women are at an increased risk for developing CTS due to the hormonal and physical changes that occur during pregnancy. The added weight of the baby and the increased fluid retention in the body can increase the pressure on the median nerve, leading to CTS.
As you age, the risk of developing CTS increases due to the wear and tear that occurs on the body over time. CTS is more common among older adults due to changes in the anatomy of the wrist and a decrease in muscle strength, which can lead to an increased risk of developing CTS. Also, the median nerve is more likely to be compressed as the protective tissues around it become weaker with age.
Obesity can increase your risk of developing CTS because it can cause extra weight to be put on the wrist, leading to increased pressure on the median nerve. Additionally, obesity can lead to changes in the anatomy of the wrist, which can further increase the risk of CTS. Additionally, obesity can lead to other conditions, such as diabetes and inflammation of the wrist, which can further increase the risk of CTS.
Certain occupations can increase the risk of developing CTS due to the repetitive movements involved in the job. People who work in assembly lines, on computers, or with vibrating tools are more likely to develop CTS due to the frequent and repetitive motions of their job. Additionally, jobs that require frequent use of the wrists, such as typing, can lead to increased pressure on the median nerve and increased risk of CTS.
6. Previous Injury
Previous injuries to the wrists or hands can increase the risk of developing CTS. If the injury is severe enough, it can cause scarring and changes in the anatomy of the wrist, which can lead to increased pressure on the median nerve and increased risk of CTS. Additionally, if the injury caused inflammation or swelling of the wrists or hands, this can further increase the risk of CTS.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a medical condition that can have a significant impact on the body’s ability to function. It is important to understand the risk factors associated with CTS, as they can help individuals to identify symptoms and seek early treatment. All in all, the best way to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to practice good ergonomics and to take regular breaks from activities that require repetitive motions of the hands.
If you think you need carpal tunnel syndrome treatment or you’re at risk of developing the condition, working with an orthopedic hand specialist is recommended. North Florida Hand and Wrist is an experienced and trusted orthopedic practice that specializes in the treatment of CTS and other hand and wrist conditions.