Though carpal tunnel syndrome may not seem as serious as other health conditions, it can have significant long-term consequences if not treated. In fact, loss of hand function and permanent nerve damage can result from this condition. Though you can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome with surgery, understanding what causes it in the first place will leave you better positioned to prevent more serious issues.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes
Carpal Tunnel syndrome is most commonly associated with activities that require repetitive wrist motions. As such, individuals who spend much of their day working at a keyboard, as well as those who work in construction or manufacturing, are typically perceived as being more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This can result because of repeated movement that strains the wrist, improper positioning of the wrists during work, or excessive, continuous vibrations that come from using heavy equipment.
However, wrist movements aren’t the only factor that can affect one’s risk for this condition. Carpal Tunnel syndrome often results from swelling of the wrist or obstructed blood flow, which means other medical problems can also contribute to the issue. Diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure or even thyroid dysfunction can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
In addition, lifestyle factors such as smoking, a high BMI, a sedentary lifestyle, and above-average salt consumption can increase your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Identifying Early Warning Signs
Identifying symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome early on will make it easier to make lifestyle changes to keep the condition from worsening. Carpal Tunnel syndrome will typically cause numbness, pain, or a tingling sensation in the thumb and fingers. This can also cause your hand to fall asleep at frequent intervals.
Over time, the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome can spread to your arm. The pain in the wrist may become so severe that you have trouble sleeping at night. As the muscles weaken, you may also have trouble gripping objects.
If you have experienced such symptoms, you should consult with a medical professional. Your doctor can help you determine if lifestyle changes will be enough to make the problem go away, or if you need surgery to fully correct the issue before nerve damage occurs.
By understanding what causes carpal tunnel syndrome and making necessary lifestyle changes, you will go a long way in preventing this condition from significantly impacting your life. Thankfully, modern surgery techniques have also made it so the problem can be resolved relatively easily, ensuring that you can continue to use your hands normally. Don’t let if impact your quality of life — get the help you need!