Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tunnel becomes narrowed or when tissues surrounding the flexor tendons swell, putting pressure on the median nerve. These tissues are called the synovium. Normally, the synovium lubricates the tendons, making it easier to move your fingers.
When the synovium swells, it takes up space in the carpal tunnel and, over time, crowds the nerve. This abnormal pressure on the nerve can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
Factors, Professions and Conditions that Increase Risk
In order to catch an early diagnosis, it’s important you’re aware of the different factors that put you at higher risk.
Age and Sex
- Older adults are at a higher risk than young adults
- CTS is very rare in children
- Women are three times as likely to develop CTS
- Women experience an increased risk during pregnancy, after delivering a baby and during menopause
- Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, increase risk
- Obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure also contribute
Occupations at Highest Risk
Below is a list of the occupations at risk for carpal tunnel, ranked from highest to lowest. If you know anyone in one of these professions, pass a copy of the Be Well post to him or her.
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material, movers
- Customer service representatives
- First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers
- Janitors, maids, and housekeeping cleaners
- Food service managers
- First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics
- Executive secretaries and administrative assistants
- Financial managers
- Sewing machine operators
- Truck drivers
- Office clerks
- Accounting and auditing clerks
- Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers
- Sheet metal workers
- Packers and packagers
- Computer software engineers
- Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
- Stock clerks and order fillers
- Tire repairers and changer
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Pay attention to these signs and symptoms. If you suspect you may have CTS, visit your chiropractor as soon as possible.
- Pain, numbness or tingling occurs in the fingers, hands, muscles, thumb or wrist
- Often occurs at night
- Muscle weakness, spasms or loss of muscle
- Pins and needles, tingling or burning sensations
- May feel the urge to “shake out” your hand to relieve symptoms
Source: Chiro One