Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be extremely difficult to treat if you don’t know what’s causing it. A range of activities that involve repetitive movements can contribute towards this painful condition.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a very small space between the hamate and trapezium bones. In that space sits a number of tendons, which flex the fingers and the wrist. The median nerve which innervates the flexor muscles of the fingers and the wrists sits in a little fat pad above these tendons. The whole section is contained under a thick fibrous piece of connective tissue called the retinaculum. Because this space is relatively confined the median nerve can become compressed causing pain.

Different causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are mostly common to the workplace and repetitive movements. It’s often caused when people sit at a desk for long periods of time using a keyboard or a mouse. The action of using a mouse is a combined movement of both the fingers and the wrist. These sustained movements over a long period of time causes tension and irritation into the flexor tendons of the fingers.

However Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by a range of activities, not just the workplace, in fact anything at all which is done in a repetitive way. For example if you’re a student and you’re doing a lot of writing you’re forming letters with both fingers and the wrist which can cause inflammation into the flexor tendons.

Tradespeople for example who grip the handle of a screwdriver and rotate the wrist through a full range of movement over and over again can cause irritation. Using a hammer can have the same effect, gripping the handle and combining this with the impact of the hammer head can cause micro-trauma through the carpal bones which can irritate the flexor tendons.

Other activities which involve using a trigger can lead to the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Cleaners who use lots of spray products can develop this condition with repetitive movements of gripping and operating the trigger.

Similarly mastik guns can also cause this condition as not only do you need to grip the gun itself but some force is required to use it properly, this force puts extra strain on the tendons.

Racket sports are another example of where the wrists are being exposed to impact or micro-trauma from the racket hitting a ball. Together with the twisting of the wrist and the strong grip required to play, these repetitive movements over time can lead to the develop of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnancy

The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy are fairly common. One of the main reasons why women develop this is that they tend to retain fluid during pregnancy. When you get increased swelling in the fingers and wrist the joints become inflamed and stiff.

When pregnant women develop this stiffness in the joints it takes more effort to move them which causes inflammation in the tendon and chronic fatigue in the muscles. So the extra fluid retention in the wrist and finger joints puts extra strain on the flexor tendons.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome effectively

If you want more information on treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome then get your symptoms assessed first with our pain assessment tool.

Once you’ve identified the likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and it will help you to manage the pain effectively.

Start your Pain Assessment Get the Treatment Guide

Watch the video on common causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Other resources

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