What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Before answering the question: how do you get carpal tunnel syndrome?, we must first clearly define what the “carpal tunnel” is.
Carpal Tunnel is a narrow tube or passageway at the base of the hand only about an inch wide. It “houses” the median nerve, one of the main nerves in the hands. The median nerve provides feelings to the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger. Interestingly, the little finger is not affected. This median nerve runs from the forearm, passing through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, and finally to the palm.
CTS happens when the median nerve is compressed on the wrist.
How Do You Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome when there’s a pressure on your median nerve at the wrist. This pressure happens due to various reasons. To further elaborate, we can discuss the risk factors.
Although it’s going to be hard to determine this particular cause, heredity may be an important factor. Some people may have inherited a trait that makes their carpal tunnel narrower than normal. Additionally, anatomic differences that would give less space for the median nerve can also cause a problem.
Repetitive Hand Use
You may develop this condition from using your hands and wrists repetitively. Prolonged or repetitive motions may cause swelling to the tendons. This swelling may put unnecessary pressure on the median nerve, causing CTS.
Keep in mind that “abusive” motions using the hands and wrist may also cause this condition. These abusive motions include hyperextension or hyperflexion of the wrists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than in men. This might be because women have narrower carpal tunnel than men. Also, it seems like women who get this condition have a smaller carpal tunnel than women who don’t have it.
One of the reasons why it’s hard to answer the question, how do you get carpal tunnel, is because other health conditions could cause it. For instance, conditions that damage the nerves may increase the risk of damaging the median nerve. Such conditions include diabetes.
Moreover, inflammatory disorders, like arthritis, may cause swelling to the tendons. The swelling may press the median nerve, causing CTS.