Who is at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that disturbs nerve functions primarily in the wrist and hand. The symptoms often lead sufferers to feel pain, numbness, and tingling.
According to Dr. Nathan Lesley, MD, of The Hand to Shoulder Center in Forth Worth, Texas, this disorder is diagnosed most frequently after age 40. However, orthopedic surgeons know from experience that this is not always the case. People of all ages and demographics can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Contributing risk factors
Several factors may contribute to carpal tunnel development earlier in life. For example, as Dr. Lesley shares,
Individuals who require repetitive use of the hand and wrist because of their occupation are at high risk of developing the syndrome.
People involved in sports may be diagnosed earlier due to specific traumas to the area.
Other medical conditions contributing to the disorder are
High blood pressure.
Studies show that women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. Generally speaking, a woman's wrist is narrower than a man's, so the carpal tunnel tends to be smaller for women.
The most significant contributing factor is the size of the median nerve, which becomes compressed when swelling narrows the passage. Women are more likely to experience pressure on the median nerve because of the narrow passageway in their wrists. At the same time, men usually require a more significant amount of swelling before they notice any symptoms.
Prevention and treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects all demographics, but there are ways to lower your risk of developing this disorder early. For example, aAvoid repetitive actions with your hands and wrists and activities that invite trauma or injuries to the area.
Unfortunately, some factors are just unavoidable. For example, age and anatomy play a considerable role in the potential for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact The Hand to Shoulder Center experts to learn more about how carpal tunnel syndrome is treated.