PRC - Carpal Tunnel - What Is Carpal Tunnel
What is Carpal Tunnel and Its Causes?
Carpal tunnel refers to wrist and hand pain due to swelling and trauma in the carpal tunnel passageway. Our arms and hands move and function, as we want them to, because of a system of nerves, which start in our brain and run through the neck down the arms and wrists and into the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs the trauma or swelling in the carpal tunnel passageway puts pressure on the longest of these nerves (known as the median nerve) and it becomes compressed at the wrist.
The carpal tunnel passage way is like a small rubber band made of ligaments and bone, which houses the median nerve at the wrist ensuring free range of motion in the hands.
What causes carpal tunnel?
Anything that crowds, irritates or compresses the nerve in the carpal tunnel space can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. These might be:
- A wrist fracture or wrist injury.
- Alcoholism and diabetes can increase your risk of nerve damage including damage to the median nerve, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or infection can affect the tendons in the wrist putting pressure on the median nerve.
- Pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure, can affect the level of fluids in your body. Fluid retention (common during pregnancy) may increase the pressure within your carpal tunnel passageway, irritating the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy generally resolves on its own after the pregnancy is over.
For more information about carpal tunnel, its causes and how to avoid it, come into any of our Relax The Back stores in St. Louis and speak to one of our in-store back care product consultants. Our staff can guide you to products and help you get started on the ergonomic workspace your body and back needs. Investing in an ergonomic workspace is more than just fixing your carpal tunnel in the short term; it’s an investment towards better back health.
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