Good Hand Health Tips

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

Who’s at risk?

You could be.

Almost all work requires using arms and hands. People whose work requires forceful, frequent or repetitive hand manipulation are at some degree of risk. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most frequent work-related musculoskeletal disorder in America. Like tendonitis, tennis elbow or De Quervain’s thumb, carpal tunnel symptoms develop gradually by overusing, over-stressing and over-stimulating the musculoskeletal system.

What makes work environments more hazardous?

Gripping, holding, twisting, clenching, reaching and bending are part of everyday life and carpal tunnel syndrome causes. Add force, exertion, speed and insufficient recovery time. Muscles and connective tissue then react to the overload by becoming inflamed, irritated and painful.

Do your work patterns involve:

  • Fixed or constrained body positions?
  • Repetitive movements?
  • Force concentrated on the hand or wrist?
  • Insufficient recovery between movements?
  • Working through fatigue?
  • Cold environment?
  • Vibration?

What are other names for work-related musculoskeletal disorders?

  • Repetitive motion injury
  • Repetitive stress injury
  • Cumulative stress trauma
  • Overuse syndrome
  • Regional musculoskeletal disorders
  • Soft tissue disorders

None of these tags accurately describe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. For example, many people with wrist and hand pain believe the problem stems from repetitive stress injury. That’s not necessarily the case.  A data-entry specialist typically contacts the keyboard 100,000 a day but may not necessarily develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. *

The challenge with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is addressing all the numerous factors!

Who develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • Women are three times more likely than met to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, possibly due to a smaller carpal canal.
  • Adults develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and most often between the ages of 35-60.
  • People with diabetes and other metabolic disorders have a lower threshold for handling nerve compression.
  • Pregnant women develop temporary symptoms due to fluid retention. Menopausal women also have a higher frequency of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Assembly-line workers are three times more likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than data-entry personnel.
  • People whose work requires hand force (for example, massage or physical therapist) are more susceptible because tendon sheaths become inflamed.
  • Workers operating vibrational tools like jackhammers are at risk.

Other contributing factors:

  • Trauma or injury to the wrist such as sprains or fractures might predispose an individual.
  • Cysts, tumors or arthritis in the wrist can narrow the carpal canal and cause compression on the median nerve.

Because there are so many Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes, you need a multi-faceted approach. If you know WHAT to do, then you CAN SOLVE your problem. At Carpal Tunnel Coaching, we offer a multi-disciplinary online video program to address the multiple factors contributing to hand and wrist pain and dysfunction.

At Carpal Tunnel Coaching, we believe in moving from confusion to clarity, from doubt to control, from pain to relief. Let us show you how!


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine

*Studies have not proven typing on a computer, using a mouse or repetitive movements while working, playing a musical instrument or playing sports causes carpal tunnel.