Carpal tunnel syndrome causes painful swelling
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers specifically to a form of repetitive strain caused when doing the same thing repeatedly causes the nine tendons in the carpal tunnel from the wrist into the hand to become swollen. The swollen tendons gradually put pressure on the median nerve, eventually causing numbness and/or tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers.
Because work is often repetitive in nature, carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the primary reasons for loss of time on the job. The National Institutes of Health reports that as many as three of every 10,000 workers loses time from work because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Half of these workers miss more than 10 days, and the average lifetime cost of medical bills and lost time from work is estimated at about $30,000 for each injured worker.
According to the NIH, pregnancy, obesity and illnesses such as arthritis, lupus or hypothyroidism can put individuals at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Women ages 40 to 60 — especially those taking birth control pills, experiencing menopause or taking estrogen — are believed to be at greatest risk.
The numbness or feeling of pins and needles may lead to a loss of ability to grip something as simple as a cup of coffee or keys to get into your home.
Rest and change in routine are often the most direct, proactive ways to reverse the swelling and pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.