If you are beginning to experience pain in your hands and wrists, you may be interested to know how to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist, hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve.

In most patients, carpal tunnel syndrome becomes worse over time, so early detection and treatment is important. When detected early enough, you may be able to avoid surgery and repair your condition with a wrist splint or by avoiding specific activities.

Who Is At Risk For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Studies have shown that women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Lifestyle factors may also increase your risk. These factors can be: smoking, high salt intake, sedentary lifestyle and a high body mass index. Some jobs may even increase your risk if it involves repetitive wrist movement, such as is required in assembly line work, keyboarding occupations, manufacturing and construction work.

Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

So, what causes carpal tunnel, and can it be avoided? The pain is due to excess pressure in your wrist and median nerve. Inflammation can cause swelling. An underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist is typically the most common cause of inflammation.

Some of the most frequent conditions linked to carpal tunnel syndrome are:

  • Diabetes
  • Fluid retention
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Fractures or trauma to the wrist
  • And more

How To Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Learning how to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome is key. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be avoided by making lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of developing it such as treating conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Also, pay careful attention to hand posture and avoid activities that overextend your wrists or repeated motion of your wrist, which can both make carpal tunnel syndrome worse.

[Related article: Recovery Time After Hand Surgery]

Is the only treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery? Quite frankly, no. If your condition is mild, there are measures you could take to avoid surgery. These could include:

  • Changing patterns of hand use
  • Keeping the wrist splinted in a straight position
  • Hand therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • And more

Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Now that you know more about how to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, if you are experiencing symptoms of this condition, we can help. We diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome through a detailed medical history, that includes learning how your hands have been used and any prior injuries you may have, x-rays and other studies.

Surgery may be required if symptoms are severe, are not improving and/or if there is a need to make more room for the nerve. If you have any questions about carpal tunnel syndrome or think you may need a consultation, contact us today to schedule an appointment.