Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a prevalent physical and neurologic condition that affects many people worldwide. It’s a painful physical affliction that results from the compression of the median nerve. The said nerve runs through the carpal tunnel right in your wrist. If you are curious to know who is at risk of developing this ailment, Dr Lauren Papa will discuss it in this article.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Anyway?
Before learning who’s at risk, it’s essential to understand why and how CTS happens. First, the Median Nerve provides sensation to your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of your ring finger.
When this nerve is compressed or squeezed as it passes through the carpal tunnel, it causes numbness, tingling, and sometimes severe pain in the hand and fingers. From that occurrence, this condition is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Who is at Risk of Getting CTS?
CTS isn’t exclusive to any group of people, and it can affect anyone at any time. However, certain factors increase the likelihood of developing this condition.
• Occupations and Activities – Workers who frequently engage in activities that involve forceful or repetitive hand movements, or the use of vibrating tools, are at a higher risk. other than that, long hours of typing on a computer may contribute to the development of CTS. Lastly, jobs that involve high-force hand exertion like construction work, assembly line work, or meatpacking.
• Lifestyle Factors – For one, smoking can reduce blood flow to the median nerve, increasing the risk. other than that, consuming too much sodium can lead to fluid retention, putting pressure on the carpal tunnel.
• Health Conditions – First of all, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to fluid retention, Dr Lauren Papa which possibly can compress the carpal tunnel. Other than that, the risk of CTS is elevated for those with inflammatory and metabolic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. And lastly, Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with an increased likelihood of CTS.