There are several risk factors that make it more likely for someone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If any of these apply to you, take extra precautions to avoid median nerve damage and be prepared to respond quickly if you begin to notice symptoms.
Unfortunately gender plays a role in the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are a woman you have a 200% higher risk of developing this condition. This may be because the carpal tunnel is typically smaller in women than men. Usually the dominant hand will be affected first as well as generate the most pain. Women also retain more fluid during menopause or pregnancy which can increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel.
Medical conditions can have an effect on your likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Diabetes can damage the nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses can increase the pressure on the nerve because of inflammation.
If you have suffered a broken or dislocated bone in your wrist you are at an increased risk. If your bones are forcefully changed from their natural alignment, as in an accident or fall, you may experience pain because there may be pressure on the median nerve.
Your job can contribute to the risk, though not the way we typically think. We may think people who use computers for long periods of time are at a higher risk, but that isn’t necessarily true. The jobs with the highest reports of carpal tunnel syndrome are jobs putting products together in factories. An assembly-line worker is 200% more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome than an office worker.
If you work or spend a great deal of time in a cold environment you are more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness. If you can’t make the temperature warmer you may want to use fingerless gloves to help keep your hands and wrists warm.
Good posture can help to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Stretching the wrists and hands regularly can help, along with taking breaks during the work day to shake and relieve your arms, legs, and back.
If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome or are beginning to feel some of the symptoms we can help. Chiropractic manipulation of the wrist, elbow, and spine can improve carpal tunnel syndrome and relieve symptoms. Dr. Elsey can manipulate the joints of the wrist and hand, provide strengthening exercises and stretches as well as techniques to mobilize the soft tissue. Call our office if you or a loved one are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.