|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS):|
|Causes: Like many skeletomuscular disorders, CTS has a variety of causes. It is most often the result of a combination of factors.|
|Among these are:|
Genetic predisposition. Certain people are more likely than others to get CTS. The amount of natural lubrication of the flexor tendons varies from person to person. The less lubrication, the more likely is CTS. One study has related the cross-sectional shape of the wrist, and the associated geometry of the carpal tunnel, to CTS. Certain tunnel geometrics are more susceptible to tendon irritation.
The most painful cases of CTS are those that have gone undetected or untreated over a long time. CTS can be cause easily in its early states, however, and much of the pain and all of the disability avoided.
Early symptoms include a tingling in the fingers, often beginning several hours after work activity has stopped. Because of this delay in the appearance of symptoms, many CTS sufferers don't make the connection between their work activities and the pain they feel until it's too late. The tingling can lead, over time, to stiffness and numbness in the fingers and hand, and then to severe wrist and hand pain.
For many individuals the early symptoms of CTS go unnoticed. Employers and co-workers can help one another identify the onset of CTS by watching for and pointing out any unconscious shaking of the hands, rubbing of the wrists, or unusual postures or hand positions at the keyboard.
At the first sign of CTS, you should be examined by a doctor who specializes in hand and wrist disorders. The doctor can perform a number of simple tests to detect CTS, and can prescribe specific steps for avoiding the problem.
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