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Welcome to my blog on
hand pain & carpal tunnel
Obesity & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Anybody not living under a rock knows obesity is a major health problem. However, did you know there is a connection between obesity & carpal tunnel syndrome? In fact, the association is very strong, but also complicated. This article unravels some of the mystery.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The most alarming thing about carpal tunnel syndrome is that it’s the most common nerve disorder causing disability in the USA. Carpal tunnel symptoms happens because of increased fluid pressure deep inside the wrist joint. Thus, when the pressure rises, it pushes on the median nerve (which controls sensations in the hand). As a result, symptoms begin. Usually, symptoms include hand or finger pain, burning, numbness and tingling, In addition, loss of grip and pinch strength is common.
A recent study examined hand and wrist shape as well as body mass index (BMI). Then researchers compared the data to the incidence of carpel tunnel syndrome. In general, their results confirmed earlier scientific reports. Moreover, it demonstrated there are 2 factors linked with a higher probability of getting of carpal tunnel syndrome. First, the wrist’s anatomical shape is a major correlation. Second, a direct association between obesity & carpal tunnel syndrome was confirmed. Thus, asking “will you get carpal tunnel?” could depend on these 2 factors.
The link between obesity & carpal tunnel
While obesity is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, the relationship is not a simple one. In fact, another study showed that subsequent weight loss in obese patients with carpal tunnel did not bring symptoms relief. Therefore, the link between obesity & carpal tunnel syndrome is not a simple “cause and effect”. Instead, there may be a common genetic factor between the two conditions. For instance, in patients with one condition, there may be a genetic trigger for producing the other. Also, since family history is major predictive factor of carpal tunnel syndrome, this relationship is not surprising.
For the most part, at some point in their life about 10% of people in the general population will get carpal tunnel syndrome. In contrast, about 25% of obese people already have carpal tunnel syndrome. Hence, this implies that if you’re already obese but don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome, your chances of getting it are greatly increased.
In conclusion, the scientific data affirms the strong relationship between obesity & carpal tunnel syndrome. The association may involve common genetic factors that link the two conditions. However, there is no evidence suggesting obesity causes this carpal tunnel.
- K Chiotis, et al: Role of Anthropometric Characteristics in Idiopathic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Volume 94, Issue 4 , Pages 737-744, April 2013
- Sharifi-Mollayousefi A, et al: Assessment of body mass index and hand anthropometric measurements as independent risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome, Folia Morphol (Warsz) 67 (1): 36–42. 2008
- Kurt, S, et al: Obesity and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Is There a Causal Relationship, Eur Neurol 59(5):253-7, 2008
- Semiha K, et al: Carpal tunnel syndrome and the relationship between body mass index, age and gender, 52 (4) 2006
- Karpitskaya Y, et al: Prevalence of smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and thyroid disease in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, Ann Plast Surg 48:269-273, 2002
- Lam N, and Thurston A: Association of obesity, gender, age and occupation with carpal tunnel syndrome, Aust NZ J Surg 68:190-193, 1998
There is a definite relationship between obesity & carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it’s not a simple “cause and effect” relationship. For instance, you might be obese and have carpal tunnel syndrome. But simply losing weight does not increase your chances that symptoms will disappear.
Two 15 minute Carpal Rx treatments
for 30 days cures symptoms in
97% of carpal tunnel patients.
About 15 years ago my wife was waking up during the wee hours screaming from carpal tunnel pain.
This isn’t an exaggerating. She’d literally scream from the pain shooting up through her wrist and into her shoulder. The poor thing still shudders when she thinks about it.
I knew she had carpal tunnel syndrome. And being a physiologist, I knew how to treat her. I’m skilled in a physical therapy technique called myofascial release. It’s a type of massage with an excellent track record for completely curing carpal tunnel symptoms.
So I’d massage her arm until the pain subsided and we could both go back to sleep. But her pain was so severe that she insisted on wanting surgery. It was so bad that she was afraid to go sleep at night.
I was dead-set against surgery because I knew myofascial release was a much better option. I made a bargain with her. Give me 30 days to cure her symptoms using massage and if it didn’t work – I’d go along with the surgery.
She agreed and I got busy in the lab. I hodgepodged together the first Carpal Rx prototype. Using it before bed for 15 minutes, she was able to sleep through the night by the 2nd day.
Carpal Rx, born out of love & compassion.
Dr. Z invented Carpal Rx to cure his wife’s symptoms so she didn’t have to undergo surgery.