The following occupations are associated with a high incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome since they involve repetitive hand activities: food processing, manufacturing, logging (cutting down trees), construction work, violinists, and carpenters. Additionally, long-term typing or computer use may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, various activities such as golfing, knitting, and gardening may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, some activities of hair dressers, farm and factory workers, and mechanics are also contributors to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Repetitive use or injury:
Repetitive flexing and extending the hands and wrists for long periods of time may increase pressure in the carpal tunnel. Additionally, wrist injury can cause swelling leading to excess pressure on the median nerve.
Durkan carpal tunnel compression test: A doctor will press down on the median nerve in the wrist to determine whether the pressure causes the patient to experience any numbness or tingling in the wrists.
Electrophysiological tests: Nerve function is tested with electrical stimulation when symptoms persist. Additionally, this test can help to confirm the diagnosis and determine the best treatment option.
This test is also known as wrist-flexion and requires patients to hold their forearms upright by pointing the fingers down and pressing the backs of the hands together. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be present if one or more symptoms (i.e. tingling or increasing numbness) occur(s) within one minute.
Thumb abduction strength test:
The doctor may straighten the thumb while it is being held to reveal signs of weakness in the median nerve.
The doctor may tap on the patient's wrist with a reflex hammer. A positive test means that the patient experiences a tingling in the fingers or a shock-like sensation.
signs and symptoms
Numbness: Individuals will usually first experience a loss of sensation in their fingers as they become numb. This symptom usually occurs while driving a car or holding something such as a phone or newspaper. These symptoms may impair an individual's daily activities.
Individuals may experience pain traveling from the wrist up to the arm and extending into the palm or fingers. This sensation may feel similar to an electric-like shock.
As symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome progress, patients may experience clumsiness or weakness in their hands making it difficult to hold or grasp small objects. Everyday activities such as buttoning a shirt may become difficult. Muscles in the palm of the hand may become visibly wasted (visible loss of muscle size and shape changes).
Patients may develop permanent nerve damage resulting in recurring weakness, numbness, and tingling if carpal tunnel syndrome is not treated.
Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, the risk increases after menopause due to hormonal changes. Men are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome mid-life.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be inherited from family members.
Patients with certain health conditions, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis, may have an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Individuals experiencing fluid retention due to pregnancy may develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which usually improves after childbirth.
Individuals who smoke cigarettes have a slower recovery rate from carpal tunnel syndrome than nonsmokers.