Top Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Posted on: Sep 29 2013
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Most people have heard of “carpal tunnel,” but many are left wondering what exactly this condition entails. Carpal tunnel syndrome consists of a pinched nerve, which causes pain in the wrist and arm that tends to worsen over time. The causes vary from case to case, but thankfully a wide array of treatments exists to fully mend the hand and wrist.

The carpal tunnel itself is a small passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. It is bound by ligaments and bones, and it protects a main nerve to your hand and the tendons that bend your fingers. When the nerve there is compressed, it creates numbness, pain, and hand weakness—the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

But why do some people develop this condition while others do not? Several factors can contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Let’s keep read to find out exactly what to look out for.

Top 3 Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  1. Anatomic factors. Sometimes, a fracture or dislocation in the wrist may alter the space within the carpal tunnel and create extraneous pressure on the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also more likely to occur in women, likely because females have relatively smaller carpal tunnel areas than men. A smaller carpal tunnel in anyone means there is a greater likelihood that he or she will develop the condition.
  2. Workplace factors. Although this factor is still under debate, it is possible that working with vibrating tools or on an assembly line that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may put harmful pressure on the nerve. This may also worsen any existing nerve damage in the area. It is still unclear if extensive computer use contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome, but it may cause other hand conditions.
  3. Inflammatory conditions. Some illnesses can lead to inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or other infections. These sicknesses may affect the tendons in your wrist, which can exert harmful pressure on the nerve in your wrist and consequently cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Upper Extremity Surgeon in Worcester: Bradley K. Schaffer, M.D.

To find out more about treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and other orthopedic conditions, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We serve Worcester and the surrounding areas, and can be reached at (508) 363-6363. We look forward to serving you!


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123 Summer St.
Suite 520
Worcester, MA 01608

Tel: 508.363.6363

123 Summer St. Suite 520, Worcester, MA 01608 508.363.6363