Does your job consist of typing on a computer all day? Do you find your wrist and hands screaming for a break by the end of the week? You’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information on jobs that are at the highest risk for causing carpal tunnel syndrome. The most surprising part? You don’t even need to be at an office job typing on a computer all day to experience carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hands. Some people try to combat carpal tunnel by wearing a brace on their wrist. The symptoms of carpal tunnel begin to develop when the median nerve is compressed inside the carpal tunnel (an actual anatomic area in your body). It is an area connected by bones and tissue that carries the median nerve and other tendons to the hands’ muscles.
So, now that we know that the carpal tunnel is an actual location in our wrists where we ultimately get the named ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ from, how does it actually happen? Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the actual carpal tunnel is narrowed.
This can happen by things like pregnancy, obesity, or growths on the structures of the wrist. However, it can also occur by means of repetitive movement that causes strain on the area, hence why tons of writing or typing can easily cause carpal tunnel pain.
Now that we know what carpal tunnel is and what it’s caused by, which jobs are at the highest risk for causing it? CDC reported that jobs that involve apparel manufacturing, food preparation, and administrative work had the highest rates of carpal tunnel syndrome reported. Other jobs include telephone operators, coffee shop counter attendants, and electromechanical workers. Results also showed that women are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome than men, probably because the carpal tunnel area is smaller in women.
These results aren’t surprising due to the amount of hands-on work these job fields have the go through. With lots of cutting, sewing, butchering, and writing, it’s no surprise that these jobs rank the highest for carpal tunnel tendencies.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is no joke and can actually cause a major increase in medical bills and overall costs to the healthcare system. Those costs can reach up to $2 billion each year. With this being said, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you don’t potentially make your carpal tunnel syndrome any worse than it already may be.
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