Has Working From Home Led to an Increase in Carpal Tunnel?

Has Working From Home Led to an Increase in Carpal Tunnel?

Posted on 02/11/2022

Has Working From Home Led to an Increase in Carpal Tunnel?



Carpal tunnel syndrome is quite common in America. According to studies, between three and six percent of Americans have this condition. The reason why it is so common is that many people spend many hours using a computer. This can place enormous strain on the wrists. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are working from home than at any other time in the recent past. Consequently, more of them are developing carpal tunnel syndrome since most home setups are not as ergonomically correct as they should be. Do you work from home? If so, you need to learn about tips for preventing the development of this condition. 



What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?



Also known as median nerve compression, this condition causes weakness, tingling, or numbness in your hands. It stems from excessive pressure on the median nerve that runs the length of the arm and passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist.


The median nerve controls the feeling and movement of the thumb, as well as the movement of all fingers except the pinky. Repetitive hand motions, health problems, and the anatomy of your wrist can all contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, proper diagnosis and treatment can relieve your symptoms and restore your hand and wrist function.






The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start gradually. Some of them include:


  • You may experience numbness and tingling in your hand or fingers. Usually, it affects the index, thumb, ring, and middle fingers.
  • You might feel a sensation similar to an electric shock in these fingers. This sensation may travel up your arm and often occurs while holding something or when you wake up from sleep.
  • You may also experience weakness in your hand, which might cause you to drop objects unintentionally



Can Working From Home Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?



Many people working from home often report stiffness, sore joints, pains, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. That is why many employers today are helping employees set up correctly at home. 


Furthermore, workers are learning more about ergonomics. Regardless of the style of your work-from-home arrangements, regular movement can have a positive effect. 






Carpal tunnel syndrome can stem from repetitive motions such as typing or any other repetitive wrist movements. This is especially so when you perform activities when your hands are lower than your wrists. 


Furthermore, conditions such as obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause this condition. Pregnancy can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.  



How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome



If you work from home, you can do several things to prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of these include:


  • Set up a properly aligned work area
  • Stay as healthy as possible because a healthy lifestyle is one of the most effective defenses. If you work from home, eat well, avoid smoking, and exercise regularly
  • Take breaks every 30 minutes or so to stretch your hands. You should also get up and take a walk every hour or so
  • Keep conditions that may increase your risk of developing this condition under control. These include conditions such as diabetes


For more on carpal tunnel, contact East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. You can call 510-904-1100 today to schedule an appointment.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.