One of the major issues is the frequency and volume of work the wrist does – especially in people who work at a desk and use their wrists a lot with a computer. Although it’s not intense work, it’s the fact that it’s daily and goes on for hours at a time!
One of the activities which can exasperate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is long form typing. This is due to the frequent pressure on the wrists and the regular flexion and extension of the joint if it’s held positions without support for a long time.
Research shows that the previous trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, as well as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fluid retention during pregnancy can cause an increase is pressure on the median nerve. This impacts the conductivity of the nerve itself and potentially increasing the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome .
Sporting activity can be an exasperating factor too – there’s a clear link between hand neuropathy and cycling, with ‘cyclist’s palsy’ a known condition. Cyclist’s palsy occurs when pressure applied to the hand via gripping the handlebars on the bike traps the ulnar nerve. When studied, there is a clear link between distance cycling and motor latency in the nerves – this means it takes longer for signals to travel down the nerves .
The same study also noticed a worsening of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome after cycling and linked long distance cycling to bringing about the condition in some cyclists. Essentially this means if you’re a sufferer of CTS, be careful with cycling or perhaps reduce the amount you do.
Another study assessed the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome in wheelchair users, given they use their hands for locomotion, therefore increase the pressure and demands on the wrist joints on a daily basis.
The sample size was 72 athletes or 144 hands and carpal tunnel syndrome was found in 8% of the wheelchair based athletes . To give these findings some context, the prevalence in the general population was found to be 2.9% across 2466 responders (4932 hands).