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What increases my risk for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Certain types of work may increase the risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. If your job or hobbies require repetitive wrist movements (like working with tools), exposure to vibrations (like using a jackhammer), or prolonged use of a keyboard, you may be at a higher risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Having certain medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or certain hormonal disorders like hypothyroidism can also increase the risk. If family members have had carpal tunnel syndrome, your risk of developing it is increased. Your risk may also be increased by your sex. Women, especially pregnant women, are much more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

One used to think that jobs with repetitive tasks or lots of keyboard use were the people that got carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) but now it appears so common in people who do not do these jobs that it appears that the main risk factor for CTS is that you have wrists! In actuality any amount of static hyperextension or hyperflexion at the wrist whether it is while driving, sleeping, using tools, or typing can lead to impingement of the median nerve in the already tight space that is the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Diabetics and pregnant women are particularly prone to getting CTS.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.