Carpal tunnel causes - Repetitive activities like typing cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Repetitive activities like typing may increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A combination of factors  can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Anything that results in expansion, inflammation or swelling within the finite space of the carpal tunnel, increases the amount of tissue in the tunnel, increases the sensitivity of the median nerve, decreases the amount of space in the carpal tunnel, or increases the sensitivity of the median nerve can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

For the majority of patients the cause carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Again, any condition that results in pressure on the median nerve within the carpal tunnel can be a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.  Because there can be multiple contributing factors it can be difficult to definitively pinpoint the root cause.

What conditions and diseases cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

Many common conditions that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.  These include things like diabetes, obesity, trauma, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, and arthritis.

Diseases like amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, multiple myeloma, and leukemia can lead to nerve irritation and carpal tunnel syndrome.  These rare diseases often result in unusual substances being deposited in or around the carpal tunnel which can lead to inflammation and/or nerve irritation.

Carpal Tunnel Causes and Risk Factors

Some common triggers for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Trauma to the wrist
  • Obesity
  • Thickening of flexor tendon sheath

  • Edema
  • Canal deformity
  • Joint dislocations
  • Fractures of the carpal bones
  • Arthritis
  • Prolonged wrist flexion


Commonly, carpal tunnel syndrome is a work-related injury. Work that requires repetitive hand movements, regular hand vibration, or working for long periods in the same positions, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive tasks or work like prolonged periods of typing can result in tendon inflammation and may also cause carpal tunnel symptoms. This is especially true when combined with other health conditions. 

When a doctor believes a patient’s carpal tunnel syndrome may have caused by repetitive motion it is often referred to as a “repetitive stress injury.”

As noted earlier, the carpal tunnel causes cannot always be determined.  Evan so you can still minimize the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by taking steps to prevent it.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome    Carpal Tunnel Prevention

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