Trivia

Hard

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Commonly Affects Which Of These Groups?

Deep Sea Divers
Computer Users
Astronauts
Runners
A medical illustration of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
BruceBlaus (Blausen.com Staff, 2014)/ Wikimedia

Answer: Computer Users

Inside your wrist, leading into your palm, is a passageway known as the carpal tunnel (consisting of bones and connective tissue) that serves as a conduit of sorts for several tendons and the median nerve.

It’s a tight fit in there but for most people, most of the time, everything works just right. Because the median nerve has so little room, however, any irritation of the tissue or inflammation of the tendons can cause problems like pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, as well as the inner (thumb) side of the ring finger. Other symptoms may include pain extending up the arm, weak grip strength, and after a long period of time, the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away as well.

While this condition, carpal tunnel syndrome, can be caused by factors like obesity, pregnancy, and rheumatoid arthritis, one of the more common triggers is work-place related activities (repetitive movement and manipulating activities). Among the work-place activities that lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, the three most common are computer work, work with vibrating tools, and work that requires a strong grip.

If just reading this at your computer is making you nervous, you can take heart in the debate surrounding carpal tunnel syndrome causes. While increased presentation of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms is definitely associated with heavy computer use, there is still a great deal of debate as to whether or not the heavy use causes the syndrome or merely activates it in the small percentage of the population genetically predisposed to it.

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