Women Have a Higher Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed, squeezed or repeatedly stressed over time.

carpal tunnel

The most common cause of CTS is keyboard and mouse use, and the onset of symptoms make it painful to use a computer at all, which can have devastating consequences for employment options.  My Aunt got CTS as a result of non-stop typing at her job, and was forced to make a total career change.

The chances of women being at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are three times higher than men.

Why?

  • Women have smaller, square shaped wrists and a narrower carpal tunnel passage.
  • With a lower average body temperature, women often have cooler hands and decreased blood flow.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, or even from the use of birth control pills can result in swelling of the wrists increasing the chances of developing CTS.

What are the implications of this?  Are women at a disadvantage career-wise because of a higher risk of computer-related injury?