Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a problem created by compression of the median nerve that changes the nerve’s function (neuropathy), which results in pain and numbness/tingling (paresthesia) mainly on the palm-side of the wrist and hand. Hormonal changes and repetitive motions are known to increase the risk for CTS. However, it could be there is a hereditary factor involved.
Conditions that can increase the risk for CTS, such obesity, thyroid issues, diabetes, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, can be genetic. In addition, surveys indicate that having a relative with CTS increases the risk that you may also develop the condition, but it’s not certain to what level genetic links are responsible versus shared lifestyles amongst family members.
Harvard professor Dr. David Ring and colleagues presented their results from 117 previously published studies to ascertain the strength of a “cause-and-effect” relationship for CTS using a scoring system that included both biological and occupational factors. Their analysis showed that genetic risk factors were twice as strong as the evidence supporting occupational risk factors, such as overuse.
Dr. Barry Simmons, chief of the Hand and Upper Extremity Service at Brigham & Women’s Hospital reported that 75-80% of CTS found in women age 50-55 is idiopathic, or caused by an unknown, further supporting genetics as the main factor. Dr. Ring states, though the evidence suggests genetics are a risk factor for CTS, there could well be epigenetic factors or environmental changes to genes based on diet or particular habits might increase a person’s risk beyond their genetic makeup. As of 2015, no epigenetic factors have been identified in idiopathic CTS.
On a positive, even if you have a genetic history of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can reduce your risk for developing CTS. By managing any conditions or activities that can increase inflammation along the course of the median nerve. Patients may consider maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, eating a low-inflammation diet and taking regular breaks from activities that require awkward or vibrating positions, for example.
If you are suffering CTS-related symptoms in the hand and wrist, a thorough examination by an osteopath can help with a solution and treatment plan. Contact cramosteopaths.co.uk of you need help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Article adapted from: credit https://chiro-trust.org/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/can-carpal-tunnel-syndrome-hereditary/