3 Things That Put You at Greater Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel

Dr. Wimalawansa, Advanced Plastic and Hand Surgery

When you experience episodes of numbness or pins-and-needles sensations in your hands or fingers, you may be developing a chronic condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Because carpal tunnel can be painful and eventually interfere with your ability to work or enjoy your usual activities, Dr. Wimalawansa and Dr. Johnson offer advanced options for diagnosing and treating the condition, including surgery.

We want our patients at Advanced Plastic and Hand Surgery to know what factors influence the chances of developing carpal tunnel. Being armed with this information can help you avoid a worsening of carpal tunnel, if you already have it, or help you take steps to avoid developing it.

Understanding carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel is an aggravating and often painful syndrome that affects your wrist and hands. It results from too much pressure on the median nerve that runs through your wrist and provides sensation in your fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause persistent tingling or burning in your hands or fingers. You may also notice your hand muscles are weaker than before, making it difficult for you to grasp objects securely. You may also feel stabbing pain in your wrist and hand when you perform certain activities, such as reaching over your head or throwing a ball.

It’s well-known that people who use computers daily or perform repetitive tasks are likely to develop carpal tunnel at some point, but even if you don’t do those things, your risk for carpal tunnel may be higher than you realize.

In addition to repetitive movements and other activities that put pressure on the median nerve, you may be at increased risk for developing carpal tunnel for other lesser-known reasons.

Here are 3 not-as-well-known things that may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome:

1. Underlying medical conditions

If you have certain medical conditions, you’re at greater risk for developing numbness or pain relating to carpal tunnel syndrome. These conditions include:

Having any of these can up your chances for having symptoms of carpal tunnel, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

2. Poor lifestyle choices

If you aren’t paying attention to what you eat, how much you eat, or the amount of physical activity that makes up your day, you may be at a higher risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Areas of your lifestyle that most increase your carpal tunnel risk include:

Smoking may also increase your risk for developing carpal tunnel because of the constricting effects the habit has on your blood vessels and its potential to cause nerve damage.

3. Being female

Women are at increased risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome over men, which may be due to their smaller wrist structure.

As a woman, you may also be more likely to develop carpal tunnel as you age or during pregnancy or menopause, when you’re more prone to retaining fluids.

If you can relate to any of these factors and have concerns about developing carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be worthwhile to learn more about strategies for preventing the syndrome. Dr. Wimalawansa and Dr. Johnson can customize a treatment plan to address any symptoms of carpal tunnel early in order to prevent further damage to your median nerve.

Nonsurgical strategies, including physical therapy and bracing, may be options you want to consider to protect the health of your wrist, hand, and fingers.


Find out more about prevention and treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome by scheduling a consultation with us. Call one of our offices, located in Dayton and Kettering, Ohio, or click the “request appointment” button to schedule online.

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