When many people think of carpal tunnel syndrome, they envision office workers with sore wrists caused by typing on keyboards for many hours a day.
In reality, carpal tunnel syndrome affects workers in many industries, including manufacturing and transportation.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive motion injury. Repetitive hand and wrist movements can put pressure on the median nerve, causing pain, tingling and numbness. If you experience these symptoms, your doctor may diagnose you with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Who can get carpal tunnel syndrome?
Anyone whose profession requires repetitive motions of the hand, arm or wrist is at risk for CTS.
Assembly line workers repeat the same hand motions hundreds or even thousands of times per day. Whether you operate a machine, use handheld tools or simply work with your hands, these repetitive motions can cause serious physical stress over time.
Truck drivers engage in numerous repetitive motions as they move, load and strap down cargo. Behind the wheel, the vibration of the vehicle can also create stress on the median nerve. Packing and moving goods in a warehouse can also lead to CTS.
How can you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?
Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Dress for the weather; cold conditions increase your risk of developing CTS.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Practice good posture.
- Use ergonomic tools.
- Wear braces or splints to stabilize your wrists.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists, you may have work-related carpal tunnel syndrome. See your doctor for a diagnosis and learn how to protect your body from this common workplace injury.