Carpal tunnel syndrome is a primary concern for millions of office workers and former office workers. They can often begin to feel the creep of this disease whenever they type or write for a particularly intense period of time. Men and women who are at risk for carpal tunnel want to be informed. They want to know about all of the relevant factors, including aging, that could lead to this debilitating condition.
Carpal Tunnel and Repeat Motions
Carpal tunnel is a condition that can result from an individual’s making too many repeat motions. The pure number of motions that an individual makes increases the chances that he or she will develop this condition. The number will inevitably increase as a person grows older. Individuals may work at their jobs for more years or engage in their hobbies for a greater period of time. If a person is older, there is a greater chance that he or she will have started his or her career or hobby before the widespread availability of information about ergonomics. Thousands of repetitions may have been performed in the least productive ways possible. If they have not already developed symptoms of the syndrome, there is a considerable chance that these individuals will if they do not stop making repetitive motions.
Another major factor behind the development of carpal tunnel syndrome is weaker muscles. A set of muscles helps keep the carpal tunnel open around the relevant nerve. The weakening of these muscles leads to the collapse of the tunnel around the nerve and causes pain and numbness/heat sensations. Age inevitably leads to weaker muscles in most instances. People do not have as many opportunities to work out their muscles when they get older. They may have weaker joints and more brittle bones that cannot endure exercise. There are also underlying conditions such as heart disease and weight gain that can make working out difficult. As a result, older individuals have a greater chance of eventually developing carpal tunnel. The combination of repetitive motion and less exercise makes its development significantly more likely.
What to Do
Anyone who is afraid of developing carpal tunnel syndrome should immediately start modifying his or her regular routine. The first step is to change the ergonomics of the repetitive motions. These individuals should ensure that their wrists are well-supported whenever they are typing or using their hands. In some instances, sleeping with wrist braces may be helpful in alleviating symptoms. Individuals should also start practicing hand exercises that will build up the strength in their wrists. Ergonomics and exercise are both key to reducing the many problems that can be associated with this syndrome.
Carpal tunnel is a concern for both younger and older workers. Older individuals need to be more aware of their risk factors for this syndrome. Fortunately, it is a problem that can be reduced or even treated in severe cases. Taking steps today can go a long way toward reducing the impact of carpal tunnel in the years and decades ahead.