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Physiology may indicate likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome

Many people in Denver are aware that repetitive activities can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, but they may not realize that there are certain people who, based off of their physiology, are more at risk for this sometimes disabling condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome is known as an occupational disease, or a repetitive injury, which means that when Colorado employees are constantly performing tasks that aggravate their median nerves, they may develop this condition.

Another factor, however, may be the ratio between hand length and palm width. Those people who have smaller ratios, meaning that they have shorter, wider hands, may be at greater risk than individuals with longer, thinner hands for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are other physiological characteristics that scientists found that made someone more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. The research was recently published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The article found that individuals with square wrists may also be prone to the condition. A square wrist was defined as having a roughly equal ratio between the width and the depth of the wrist.

The study also found that many people with carpal tunnel syndrome also had higher body mass indexes and were not quite as tall as the researchers' control group. Ultimately, however, these people were only more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, but the condition generally developed when individuals performed repetitive motions.

So what does this tell us? First, it provides those people who are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome advanced warning about their risk factors. More importantly, however, it reminds Colorado employers about the importance of creating ergonomic work environments that reduce or eliminate all employees' chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Who's at Risk and How to Prevent Its Disabling Effects," Michael Zazzali, May 30, 2013

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