Does My Weight Affect My Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a sometimes-debilitating disease that causes tingling and numbness in the fingers and hands. It is caused by the median nerve, which runs from the arm through the wrist, becomes pinched. Carpal tunnel syndrome often becomes more debilitating over time and may require surgery to repair. Several studies, however, have revealed that weight loss can positively impact carpal tunnel, reducing or eliminating symptoms.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel?
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is not the result of a specific injury but rather the result of an underlying condition like high blood pressure or a thyroid disorder that causes inflammation that compresses the nerve. High salt intake, smoking, and lack of exercise may also contribute. Repetitive use of your hands and wrists can cause or exacerbate carpal tunnel. People who are diagnosed with carpal tunnel often work in jobs that have them doing the same thing every day – typing, working on an assembly line, or using power tools that vibrate. Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel than men.
How Does Losing Weight Improve Carpal Tunnel Symptoms?
Because excess weight is closely associated with high blood pressure and inflammatory diseases, both of which can cause additional pressure on the median nerve, losing weight can improve symptoms of carpal tunnel. Several studies have confirmed that weight loss can reduce symptoms, so in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, lifestyle changes may be the first area to be addressed.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
At Specialty Orthopaedics, our doctors have extensive experience working with patients who have carpal tunnel syndrome. They make every effort to treat your carpal tunnel syndrome using the least invasive approach when possible, which include rest, braces or splints, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections. If these treatments do not work, carpal tunnel surgery may be necessary.
If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, visit Specialty Orthopaedics. Our New York orthopedic practice is home to a team of fellowship-trained orthopedists in a variety of orthopedic specialty areas. We offer comprehensive treatment for musculoskeletal disorders in a caring and responsive clinical atmosphere. Give us a call at 914.686.0111 or fill out the form on this page to schedule your appointment today.