U.S. Army HOOAH 4 HEALTH.com - Occupational Health: Safety in the Work Area Environment - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Hand Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is damage to the median nerve caused by a sustained increase in pressure from awkward posture, direct compression, or inflammation. CTS is commonly diagnosed as an upper extremity work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD). It can lead to permanent disability if not detected early and treated properly.
What is the Carpal Tunnel?
When you perform a task using your hand, muscles in your forearm flex your wrist and fingers. Those muscles are connected to the wrist and fingers by tendons (bands of tough, nonstretchable, flexible fibers that connect the muscles to the bone)."
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- Burning pain.
- Tingling in the thumb and first two or three fingers.
- Radiate to the forearm.
- Frequently occur at night.
- Make simple tasks, such as tying shoelaces, difficult because of weakness or numbness.
Workplace Risk Factors Associated with CTS
- Hands held in fixed positions with steady pressure over prolonged periods (e.g., gripping a drill).
- Repeated wrist and finger flexion (e.g., using a trigger-operated hand tool) or alternating flexion and extension (e.g., painting).
- Light, highly repetitive wrist and finger movements (e.g., typing or data entry).
- Prolonged strenuous use of the hands (e.g., molding materials).
- Repeated pinching or grasping (e.g., stapling).
- Vibration, particularly associated with power tools.
- Bending the wrist toward the little finger while working (e.g., typing).
- Quick, repetitive dynamic activities (e.g., scanning items in a checkout line).
This fact sheet is presented as guidance and should not be substituted for a professional medical examination and proper treatment of CTS.