Does carpal tunnel only happen with repetitive job tasks?

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the muscles in the wrist swell and compress the nerve running down the arm into the hand.  This squeezing of the median nerve produces pain, numbness and tingling in the hands.  Severe cases can cause permanent nerve damage.

Carpal tunnel usually happens to people whose jobs require repetitive use of the hands.  Examples of these types of jobs include:

  • typing
  • sewing
  • packaging
  • small parts assemblers

While most carpal tunnel injuries happen due to repetitive motion, carpal tunnel syndrome can also come from a traumatic injury at work, such as a fall or even a neck injury.  If your arm or wrist is injured, the impact can cause tissues in the wrist to swell which can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Rest may resolve the condition. But if it doesn’t, the usual treatment for carpal tunnel is surgery called a carpal tunnel release. It expands the space for the nerve and tendons relieving the pressure on the nerve.


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