Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often viewed as an overuse injury, but several factors may be the cause of the nerve compression and pain such as:
- Repetitive hand use. Repeating the same hand and wrist motions or activities can cause strain on the tendons that lead to inflammation that puts pressure on the median nerve.
- Hand and wrist positioning. Doing activities that puts a lot of stress on the hand and wrist in the form of extreme flexion or extension for prolonged lengths of time can put added pressure on the nerve.
- Heredity. Sometimes genetics plays a part as well. Some people naturally have a smaller carpal tunnel opening than others. With a smaller carpal tunnel, there is a greater chance of the nerve becoming compressed with any amount of swelling, due to less space.
- Other health conditions. Other health conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalances have all been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome as well. (Check with your doctor to help rule out the possibility of these other health related causes.)
In many cases, modifications can help reduce, or even prevent, the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are some common modifications and treatments:
- Avoid keeping your wrists in the same position for prolonged lengths of time.
- Frequently take positional breaks and stretch your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, and neck.
- Massage or rub your own hands, fingers, wrists, and arms to increase circulation.
- Make sure your workstation is set up ergonomically for you to reduce any strain on the body. Forearms should be level with the keyboard, wrists straight, feet planted evenly on the ground, neck and shoulders back.
- Wear a wrist splint during prolonged use to keep the wrist level.
- Get regular massages by a professional massage therapist who can help reduce strain, tension, inflammation, and break up possible adhesions that could be causing impingements.