Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Occupational Hazard- Are You At Risk?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common source of pain and numbness in the hands. This is a commonly occurring disorder that is caused due to the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve serves for carrying sensory signals to the thumb, index and middle fingers. The median nerve and the flexing tendons of the hand pass through the carpal tunnel. The inflammation of the space around the flexing tendons also leads to the carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a debilitating disorder that causes difficulty in grasping and holding things.

The Causes

The root cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome is the excess pressure on the median nerve. This occurs due to excessive strain on the wrist. Activities that put too much tension in the wrist lead to this condition. Other medical factors such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and problems like menopause and hypothyroidism are also common causative factors.

Occupational Hazard

Workers involved in certain occupations are at greater risk than others. Most occupations that involve forced and repetitive movements of the wrist lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Excessive use of hand tools for a long time cause the onset of symptoms of this disorder. People working in meat and fish packing industries use vibrating tools such as jackhammers and chain saws. These people are at a high risk of suffering from this condition. High instances of carpal tunnel syndrome have been reported in workers involved in assembly line production and cake decoration. Dentists, dental technicians and postal workers are also at threat.
Certain domestic chores such as sewing, cutting, cooking and carpentry also lead to the condition. Prolonged use of the computer keyboards is also one of the reasons for developing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ways to prevent the carpal tunnel syndrome

As carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused due to a lot of daily activities, it is important to take care to prevent its occurrence. This can be achieved by adopting proper posture while working, correct typing technique and good work habits. Ergonomic gadgets such as wrist splints and keyboard pads offer some relief. Reduction of the strain on the wrist is of foremost importance.