When there is added pressure on your median nerve, swelling and inflammation can occur. This can cause everyday activities to be unbearable! Discover three common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and how to avoid its onset.
Cause #1: Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions can obstruct blood flow which leads to swelling and inflammation in different parts of the body. Carpal tunnel syndrome has been linked to medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disfunction, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis. Staying healthy will improve your health-related quality of life and all other aspects of your life including your emotional and mental state!
Cause #2: Pregnancy
Many pregnant women experience fluid retention during pregnancy. This fluid retention can lead to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist and produce carpal tunnel symptoms. While CTS often goes away on its own once the pregnancy is complete, it still can produce discomforting symptoms.
If you feel these symptoms, you can wear a wrist splint to keep your wrist straight, avoid over-using your hands, and do frequent hand/wrist exercises.
Cause #3: Over-Extending the Wrist
When you over-extend your wrist repeatedly, pressure is added to the median nerve and swelling can occur. This will worsen your carpal tunnel symptoms!
To ensure you are not over-extending your wrist, make sure you position your wrists correctly while using the keyboard or mouse, and take frequent breaks when using power tools or playing musical instruments.
How to Avoid the Onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The best way to avoid the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome is being very intentional about how you position your wrists while performing certain activities. Good posture is not only for your back, but for your wrists, too! Additionally, stretch your wrists and give them frequent breaks.