Anything that causes irritation, inflammation, fluid retention, or an abnormal growth in or around the carpal tunnel can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, including: Repetitive movements of the hands, wrists, or fingers—especially overactive use of a computer keyboard, certain musical instruments, or hand toolsUse of vibrating equipment or toolsA narrow carpal tunnel (due to heredity or other causes)
BurnsBroken bonesCompression or crush injuriesArthritis
leading to swelling within the carpal tunnel
, which impairs blood flow in the hands
Water retention due to:
Kidney diseaseAmyloidosisHeart disease
Hormone-related conditions, such as:
PregnancyBreastfeedingMenopauseHypothyroidismCushing's diseaseExcess growth hormone
Medications, such as:
Birth control pillsCortisone pills or shotsSome high blood pressure drugsTumors and cysts in the carpal tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome: a practical review.
Am Fam Physician.
Patijn J, Vallejo R, Janssen M, et al. Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pain Pract. 2011;11(3):297-301.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
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