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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which you start feeling a type of tingling or numbing feeling in your hand, wrists, and fingers. It is often also characterized by inflammation.

What are the symptoms of Carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are usually related to the nerve path because of compression of the median nerve. Your hand may “fall asleep” often, and you might drop objects.

 Additional symptoms include:

  • Numbness, tingling, and discomfort in your thumb and the first three fingers of your hand
  • Ache and burning sensation that travels up your arm
  • Wrist pain at night that hinders sleep
  • The muscles of the hand feeling weak

While various factors could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, here are a few things that could put you at a higher risk.

5 Reasons That Can Increase Your Risk

  1. Fractured Or Dislocated Wrist Bone

If you have suffered a fracture in the wrist or finger area, or if you had a bone dislocation in the same area, you are at a higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. In such a case, the space in the carpal tunnel area goes through a change, which can put extra pressure on the median nerve and aggravate your risks.

  1. Women Are At A Higher Risk

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more women than men, as in most cases, the area of the carpal tunnel is relatively smaller in women than in men. Also, there are discrepancies between the carpal tunnel area in women who suffer from the syndrome and those who do not. For instance, in the case of a woman who has a tiny carpal tunnel area as compared to another woman who has a little carpal tunnel area, the former will be more at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  1. Fluid Retention

When your body starts retaining fluids, it puts extra pressure on your carpal tunnel, which then puts more pressure on the median nerve. Fluid Retention often happens during pregnancy, as well as at the time of menopause. If you are pregnant and are experiencing water retention, as well as some discomfort in terms of carpal tunnel syndrome, the condition will likely get better once you are through with your pregnancy months.

  1. Workplace Risks

Some factors at your workplace could put you at a higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome as compared to others. For instance, if you work in a profile that requires you to operate top vibrating machines, or continuously use your wrist, finger or hand in a set motion, you will be at a higher risk. In such a scenario, you will put extra pressure on your median nerve, which can increase your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, or even aggravate the condition if you are already affected.

  1. Health Conditions

Certain types of health issues or conditions can also increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. These are typically conditions that could cause swelling around your joints as well as your soft tissues. It could also be a health issue that reduces the flow of blood to your hands. Some such conditions include obesity, diabetes, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Quick Tips To Reduce Your Risk

  • Make sure to stretch your wrists in regular breaks.
  • Try to avoid repetitive wrist and finger movements as much as you can.
  • Avoid putting any direct pressure on your wrists.
  • Reduce or quit smoking, as smoking can reduce the flow of oxygen and blood to various tissues and add pressure on the median nerve.
  • If you already have diabetes, arthritis, thyroid, or other such health conditions, make sure you take the right treatment.

Even though it is a progressive process, for most individuals, carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen over time if not treated properly. For this reason, it is necessary to be evaluated and diagnosed by the doctor early on. In the early stages, it could be possible to slow or stop the progression of the disease.