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What types of jobs can cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

What Types of Jobs Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
3 minutes, 42 seconds

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that can cause serious discomfort and pain. Often referred to as median nerve compression, this condition occurs when the median nerve running through the wrist becomes pinched by tissue in the body. The types of tissue that may place pressure on the median nerve include ligaments, tendons and muscles. 

CTS can be a type of repetitive motion strain. Repetitive motion strains are a type of injury that occurs with frequent movements. These involve using the same ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons over and over. This type of strain, also referred to as repetitive stress injuries, can be caused by occupations that involve repetitive movements. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it may very well be the result of a job that requires repetitive strain on your body tissue.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may vary from person to person. Some of these symptoms include pain or discomfort during movements that involve using your thumb to grip — for example, holding the steering wheel of a vehicle or holding on to other types of objects. Some people report experiencing tingling, numbness, throbbing, sharp spurts of pain and pinches. 

It’s important to speak with a medical professional who can expertly diagnose your condition. Self-diagnosis or a diagnosis from an unqualified individual can lead you to get ineffective treatment. It may also result in new or worsening symptoms. If you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, make sure to get it verified by an expert before deciding on any particular course of action.

So, what types of jobs can cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

  • Online workers — Any kind of job online that requires the frequent use of a keyboard can lead to carpal tunnel. 
  • Office workers — Similar to working from home, a job in an office that also requires the use of a computer during long workdays can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Assembly line workers — People who work in factories or mechanical industries often report developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetitive nature of their job. They may stand at machines and pack boxes or perform similar repetitive tasks for hours on end, irritating their body’s tendons, ligaments, muscles and other tissue.
  • Seamstresses — Seamstresses are also at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. They perform tasks that require repetitive use of their fingers, hands and wrists to sew clothing, which increases their risk of repetitive strain injury on the job.

This is just a short list of the types of jobs that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. There are many more jobs that can cause repetitive motion injuries like CTS. If you think you may have developed this type of condition because of repetitive tasks during work, it’s a good idea to check with a qualified medical professional for an expert diagnosis.

Once you’ve successfully gotten a diagnosis from a medical professional, you can explore your treatment options. Fortunately, there are a few different kinds of treatments available to CTS sufferers, so you can decide which option sounds best for your unique circumstances.

What kinds of treatment are there for someone with carpal tunnel syndrome?

  • Physical therapy — Physical therapy is a very effective treatment option for those with CTS. It implements uniquely designed treatment plans in a setting where you can safely perform movements and exercises to release your muscle tension and pain.
  • Surgery — Surgery is an option for patients with this condition. Many people report experiencing relief after surgery, but others may experience complications from their surgery.
  • Corticosteroid injections — Corticosteroid injections may be recommended to you by a doctor or other medical professional and can alleviate pain for some people, but it is most often a temporary pain reliever.
  • Wrist splints or braces — Wearing a wrist splint or brace can help reduce the amount of pressure that is placed on your compressed median nerve.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication — Anti-inflammatory medications are another temporary pain-relieving solution that may be effective but only in the short term.
  • Dry needlingDry needling is a technique that involves the use of a “dry” or empty needle, to stimulate and then release any muscle tension that may be contributing to your pain or discomfort. However, there are some pros and cons to be aware of before trying it.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for carpal tunnel syndrome

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your job-related carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!

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