Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of those medical conditions that we have seemingly brought on ourselves via the way we work and play. It is likely that carpal tunnel has existed for centuries, if not millennia, and that our modern lifestyle has just exacerbated it. At any rate, I treat carpal tunnel syndrome as a private rheumatology consultant in London.
If you have been looking for a carpal tunnel syndrome specialist near you, consider a visit to my London clinic. In the meantime, I have put together a list of factors that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. If any of these apply to you, your pain may be worse than it needs to be. Proper treatment should at least alleviate your pain; it might even help you to completely recover.
1. Anatomical Anomalies
The direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve in the wrist. That nerve runs through a narrow passage known as the carpal tunnel. As such, anatomical anomalies in that particular area can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Such anomalies can be present from birth. They can also occur later in life as a result of bone fracture, arthritis, or dislocation. People with smaller bone structures are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome because their carpal tunnels are also smaller.
2. Repetitive Tasks
As a carpal tunnel syndrome specialist, I see a lot of patients whose condition is caused by repetitive tasks – mainly performed at work. For example, an assembly line job that requires repetitive and prolonged flexing of the wrist can put undue pressure on the carpal tunnel. And even if not, it can still cause inflammation as it presses on the median nerve.
Some studies have suggested that regular computer use can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Such studies are not conclusive, but they do suggest that repetitive use of keyboards and computer mice could be problematic.
3. Sex (Gender)
It is known that carpal tunnel syndrome occurs more frequently in women. This is likely due to smaller bone structure and subsequent smaller carpal tunnels. It has been suggested that women suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome have smaller carpal tunnels than those who do not.
4. Underlying Conditions
Carpal tunnel syndrome is sometimes the result of another underlying condition. Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome or be the direct cause of it. Another possibility is a condition that damages the nerves, like diabetes for example.
It’s not clear why, but underlying conditions that on the face of it have nothing to do with nerves and joints can contribute to carpal tunnel. Studies have shown a link between carpal tunnel syndrome and conditions like thyroid disease, kidney failure, and even menopause.
Obesity is known to put undue stress on the joints in general. If you are obese, you are at greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome – especially if you are also prone to any of the other contributing factors mentioned in this post.
Despite so many contributing factors, I am happy to report that carpal tunnel syndrome is treatable. Modern medicine utilises a variety of options ranging from steroid injections to pain medications and exercise. The first step is to visit a carpal tunnel syndrome specialist.
I treat carpal tunnel patients at a number of clinics throughout London. If you would like to consult with me about your pain, I would be more than happy to meet with you. If carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause of your pain, we can probably get it under control.