While carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects 4 percent of the population, certain people have a significantly higher risk of the condition, and a variety of causes will need to be treated in order to achieve a successful outcome.
Trauma: An acute trauma, including fracture bones, can lead to CTS. However, it is more common to link chronic stress reactions with the condition.
Anatomy: Not all wrists are equal and some individuals may have a narrower carpal tunnel which increases the chances of inflammation of the tendons passing through the region, and compressing of the median nerve.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can cause spur formations that project into the tunnel and increase pressure on the nerve. Rheumatoid arthritis causes irritation of the wrist joints and the lining of the tendons, and may also exert pressure on the median nerve as it travels through the wrist.
Hormones: Hormonal changes caused by breastfeeding, menstruation, menopause, birth control drugs, hormone replacement therapy, diabetes, hypothyroid, kidney disease, lymphedema, etc. can lead to carpal tunnel swelling or inflammation which can put pressure on the median nerve.
Medications: Certain drugs can raise the risk of CTS, such as anastrozole, a medication used in the treatment of breast cancer; diphosphonates, a class of drugs used to treat osteoporosis; oral anticoagulants; and more. (When there are non-musculoskeletal causes, treatment can include co-management with a patient’s doctor.)
Job environment: CTS risk factors in the office include a cold climate, vibrating equipment, uncomfortable neck / arm / hand configurations, no breaks, excessive machine mouse activity and more. Individuals who work occupations that are marked by quick, repeated, and aggressive behaviours related to grip / pinch can develop CTS up to 2.5 times more often.
Other Musculoskeletal Conditions: The median nerve may be squeezed when it travels through the spine, back, elbow, and forearm, which may cause CTS-like symptoms in the hand and wrist, even though the carpal tunnel itself is not distorted.
Your Osteopath will need to study the history of each patient’s wellbeing and analyse the entire length of the median nerve to determine the potential factors for optimum outcome.
If you are suffering from CTS or any conditions you feel a session with Cram Osteopaths would help you – please book online at www.cramosteopaths.co.uk