Posted by: ugleepen | June 13, 2013

7 Major Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Part 2

uglee pen - cts 2According to the American Physical Therapy Association, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects more than five million Americans.

In order to prevent CTS it’s important to understand what causes this painful syndrome.  In Part 1 we looked at 4 of the 7 major causes, which you can review.

Below we continue this discussion by looking at the final three major CTS causes:

5. Genetics

A proportion of people with CTS have a family history of physical characteristics known to be associated with CTS.

The most prominent is defect in collagen production, which forms the connective tissue between bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The defective collagen is less supple, and this can lead to stress in and around the tendon, which causes inflammation and ultimately pressure on the median nerve.

6. Direct Compression, Vibration, and Temperature

Many occupations cause repetitive stress injuries that involve direct compression upon the carpal tunnel.

This is the problem with using the computer keyboard and mouse. One of the worst motions you can perform for your hands is to rest your wrist on a mouse while you reach for the click button.

This puts direct pressure on the area of the carpal tunnel. Prolonging such posture will result in median nerve compression. This is identical to anyone who rests their wrists on a keyboard wrist pad or on a tabletop. Thus, proper posture at the keyboard is crucial.

Another factor common to certain occupations is vibration. Workers who use vibrating tools such as chainsaws, jackhammers, grinders, air tools, and electric hand tools are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Vibration inhibits blood flow to the nerves and other tissues of the hand and causes a type of repetitive strain injury sometimes called “vibration syndrome”.

Also, people who work outdoors or in cold environments tend to be more prone to getting carpal tunnel syndrome. The lower temperature causes a reduction in blood flow, and over long periods of time the cold inhibits the tissues in the wrist and forearm from recovering from micro-tears acquired with repetitive stress.

7. Spinal Subluxations

You might not be aware that a misalignment of the spinal vertebrae, particularly of the lower cervical spine, known as spinal subluxations, can actually produce the symptoms of CTS.

These suluxations cause swelling in the nerves leading to, and delivering sensations from, the hand. Therefore, while the carpal tunnel itself may be perfectly normal, an irritated nerve near the spine can make it seem as though the pain is originating from the hand and wrist.

Additionally, such irritation of the nerves leading to the hand can also produce inflammation on the muscles and tissues they supply throughout the length of the arm. This then may cause the muscles and tendons to become hypersensitive and, in turn, produce abnormal tensions in the forearm.



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