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Is your carpal tunnel syndrome due to your job?

Do your wrists, hands or arms often hurt? How about your neck? If you have noticed recent recurrent pain anywhere like this, you could have the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. And your job could be causing it.

OrthoInfo.com explains that CTS occurs when you perform repetitive motions with your hands, such as typing, wielding a hammer, etc. Unfortunately, once begun, CTS continues to progress, resulting in your experiencing ever-increasing pain that radiates up your arms and into your neck and back.

Your carpal tunnels

You have a carpal tunnel in each of your wrists. This is the narrow opening through which your nerves pass from your fingers and hands to your arms. Not only are your carpal tunnels narrow, they also have virtually no “give” to them because bones and tough ligaments surround them.

When you must perform repetitive motions with your fingers and/or hands, the synovial tissues in your carpal tunnels swell and the swelling has no place to go. Your flexor tendons consequently fail to get the lubrication they require. This puts pressure on your medial nerves that causes the pain you feel.

CTS treatment

If your pain has started recently, your CTS likely has not progressed very much. Wearing wrist splints and/or switching to an ergonomic keyboard can help stall its progression. Ultimately, however, you probably will require surgery to repair the damage, although this could take several years. Until then, NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen can temporarily relieve your pain. Your doctor may also want to take x-rays or run an EMG or MRI while (s)he monitors your CTS progression.

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