If you have ever experienced unexplained tingling or numbness in your hand or arm, you might have had a brush with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Between 2 percent and 3 percent of all Australians suffer from CTS at some point in their adult life. CTS occurs when the nerve located in a narrow passageway inside your palm called the carpal tunnel is compressed. This compression can cause numbness and tingling in the wrist, hand, and sometimes the arm if gone untreated.
How can you mitigate your chances of developing CTS? First, increase your awareness of major risk factors. These include:
Injuries to the hand or wrist can be a major driving factor behind you developing CTS. Broken bones, arthritis, or any other condition or injury in the area around the carpal tunnel could potentially put pressure on the nerve. Additionally, women are more prone to develop CTS than men as they have naturally narrower carpal tunnels relative to men.
While diabetes can be easily managed, it can cause nerve damage all over the body if gone untreated. A common place to observe this nerve damage is within the carpal tunnel. While diabetic nerve damage does not necessarily compress the nerve, it still causes the characteristic numbness and tingling associated with CTS.
If you suffer from an auto-immune disease like psoriasis, Cohn’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, you could also be at a higher risk to develop CTS. Any chronic illness where the body’s immune system works against itself could potentially trigger CTS as these conditions can often adversely affect the lining of the carpal tunnel and compress the nerve within.
Finally, and the most widespread of these risk factors, any sort of prolonged and repetitive flexing of the wrist or awkward wrist movement can contribute to the development of CTS. This can mean anything from working with tools on an assembly line to typing on a computer for a desk job.
While it can be difficult to diminish some of these risk factors or change their associated behaviors, you can take simple steps to find carpal tunnel pain relief by using products, such as ergonomically designed computer keyboards or specialty support wraps like our Thermoskin Wrist Band. Regardless of how you decide to manage your CTS or your risk factors, iHealthSphere is always here to assist in your wrist support needs.