Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and wrists due to compression of the median nerve. While it can be caused by a variety of factors, like genetics and certain medical conditions, some job-related activities can also lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Our team of pain management specialists at Republic Spine and Pain offers carpal tunnel treatment at several convenient locations in Austin, Georgetown, and Leander, Texas.
3 ways your job can cause carpal tunnel syndrome
Here are three ways your job can put you at risk for developing CTS:
1. Repetitive movements
Jobs involving repetitive hand and wrist movements can increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive activities, like typing, data entry, and assembly line work, can put stress on the wrist and contribute to the compression of the median nerve over time.
2. Awkward hand positions
Working in positions that require awkward or prolonged bending of the wrist can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome and exacerbate your symptoms over time.
Examples include jobs that involve prolonged and forceful wrist flexion or extension, such as using tools with poor ergonomic design, operating heavy machinery, or working in positions requiring constant wrist bending.
3. Performing gripping motions
Jobs that involve forceful or vibratory tasks can also increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel. Forceful and repetitive gripping, such as using tools that require a significant amount of hand strength or working with vibrating tools and machinery, can compress the median nerve and lead to the development of symptoms.
While job-related activities can contribute to CTS, other factors like individual anatomy, overall health, and ergonomic conditions also play a role.
To reduce your risk in the workplace, implement ergonomic practices, take regular breaks, maintain good posture, use ergonomic tools and equipment, and seek medical attention for pain and other symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
Here are some common signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:
Hand numbness and tingling: numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. It can extend from the hand to the forearm and is often more pronounced during activities involving wrist movements, like typing or holding a phone.
Hand weakness: tasks requiring fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt or gripping small objects, can be painful or more difficult.
Pain and discomfort: CTS pain can vary from a dull ache to a sharp and shooting pain. It may worsen at night, disrupt sleep, or be exacerbated by certain activities or hand positions that involve bending the wrist.
Sensory changes: In addition to numbness and tingling, some people may experience abnormal sensations in the affected hand, like pins and needles or a burning sensation.
Radiating symptoms: In some cases, the symptoms can radiate beyond the hand and into the arm or shoulder. That can cause discomfort or pain that travels along the path of the median nerve.
Worsening symptoms: symptoms worsen over time if left untreated. As the condition progresses, the frequency and intensity of symptoms may increase, and they may occur during less strenuous or repetitive activities.
For more information about the risk factors and treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome, contact Republic Spine and Pain today to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist.