We conducted a survey amongst our Google Plus communities to find out who experiences carpal tunnel syndrome. Among the groups we polled, weightlifters who suffer from carpal tunnel far outnumbered those in other categories. Training hand pain or from weightlifting is a common cause for CTS.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition affecting the hand and wrist. The carpal tunnel, an area or tunnel within the wrist comprised of ligament and bones, contains tendons and the median nerve, which runs from the forearm through the carpal tunnel into the hand.Swelling of the tendons from overuse or repetitive motion of the wrists and hand reduces the space within the carpal tunnel. This squeezes the median nerve, causing symptoms associated with CTS: feelings of numbness, terrible pain, tingling and weakness in the affected hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of activities, including weightlifting, gaming, knitting, working as a dentist, hairstylist, cashier, cook or contractor.
Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can cause swelling and pressure on the median nerve, resulting in CTS. Hormonal changes and fluid retention during pregnancy can also bring on carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Poll
From the sample of 50 community members who participated in the poll, ranging from bodybuilders, general health and wellness, and those in medicine: 24 members (48%) developed CTS through weightlifting; 16 members (32%) from repetitive motion at work; 5 members (10%) from gaming; 3 members (6%) from other causes; and 2 members (4%) developed CTS during pregnancy. As the poll shows, carpal tunnel and weightlifting seem to go hand in hand.
This poll by no means comprehensively shows the overall statistics of who is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women are three more times likely than men to develop CTS.
Carpal Tunnel and Weightlifting
Weight training is used as a part of a general fitness or overall training in order to improve sports performance or overall fitness goals. Peripheral nerve injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can develop from stress on the hands and wrists from lifting weights. Human growth hormone, or HGH, use in bodybuilding can also be an additional contributing factor to the development of carpal tunnel among weightlifting populations.
Carpal Tunnel in the Workplace
A survey by the U.S. labor department shows that repetitive strain injuries are the country’s most costly and most common occupational health problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the report, affects hundreds of thousands of American workers and costs an estimated $20 billion per year in workers compensation.
On average about 260,000 carpal tunnel operations are performed each year with 47% of these operations being work-related.
Some ways to manage or prevent carpal tunnel in the workplace are available on CarpalAID®’s blog:
Gamers and Carpal Tunnel
Similar to repetitive motion in the workplace, carpal tunnel syndrome can become an affliction for gamers. Frequency and length of gaming–with increased actions-per-minute–can contribute to the development of CTS.
Blitz eSports’ video has a good summation of why you shouldn’t ignore symptom developments and how to manage or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel During Pregnancy
About 25% of pregnant mothers develop carpal tunnel syndrome during their pregnancy. Swelling brought on by fluid retention and hormonal changes cause increased pressure on the median nerve, resulting in hand pain and tingling or pain in the fingers.
Pain medications, steroid injections, and surgery are not considered safe options to treat carpal tunnel syndrome for pregnant mothers. CarpalAID® offers a surgery- and drug-free alternative that is safe for mother and child.
Other Conditions That Cause Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome could be a symptom of many other health conditions. Genetics, diabetes and other metabolic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysfunction, are some conditions that can contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Check out CarpalAID®’s frequently asked questions for more details.
As our community survey shows, carpal tunnel syndrome can affect a wide range of people. While it may not be possible to completely avoid CTS in certain cases, there are steps you can take to relieve hand pain.