Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Doing the same hand movements over and over can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. It's most common in people whose jobs require pinching or gripping with the wrist held bent. People at risk include people who use computers, carpenters, grocery checkers, assembly-line workers, meat packers, musicians and mechanics. Hobbies such as gardening, needlework, golfing and canoeing can sometimes bring on the symptoms.

Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. It also tends to be hereditary (which means it runs in families).

Carpal tunnel syndrome may also be caused by an injury to the wrist, such as a fracture. Or it may be caused by a disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid disease. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common during the last few months of pregnancy.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/96

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