From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
Health, Orthopedics

How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome

Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center
If you’ve had numbness and tingling in the hands, particularly the thumb, index and middle fingers, you could be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome. David Fulton, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, said other symptoms can include clumsiness, loss of dexterity, wrist pain and night-time wakening.
Because carpal tunnel syndrome is common among adults, especially women between the ages of 40 and 60, Dr. Fulton provided some advice on how to prevent the condition.
But first, who’s at risk? “There is often a family history, as a genetic component of carpal tunnel syndrome has been established,” said Dr. Fulton. 
He said carpal tunnel syndrome is seen more frequently in patients who have:
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pregnancy 
  • Increased body mass index 
“It is sometimes associated with repetitive forceful use of the hand which may cause or aggravate the condition,” he explained. 
Dr. Fulton said preventing carpal tunnel syndrome can be challenging because it is associated with such a wide variety of risk factors ranging from metabolic conditions to genetics and activity level. 
“It is important to try and maintain a healthy body weight and keep blood sugar under control to minimize the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome,” he said. 
“If you start to develop symptoms, wearing a nighttime splint that keeps the wrist in a straight, neutral position can be helpful with decreasing numbness, tingling and night-time waking. It is also sometimes useful modify your activity if it involves repetitive forceful of the hand and wrist. If symptoms persist despite these measures, you might consider seeing medical treatment for further evaluation and care.”
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