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Weight gain and carpal tunnel syndrome


There is scientific evidence that people who are overweight are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome than those who are lean, says Peter A. Nathan, M.D, hand surgeon and carpal tunnel researcher at the Portland Hand surgery and Rehabilitation Centre in Oregon.

Research by Dr Nathan suggests that people who are overweight have greater risks of getting carpal tunnel syndrome than typists, cashiers or other people who use their hands and wrists a lot in their jobs. ‘Heavy people have a tendency to accumulate more fluid in the soft tissues, including the wrist,’ Dr Nathan explains. As fluids accumulate, they may begin putting pressure on the nerve inside the carpal tunnel, whilst also reducing the amount of oxygen it receives.

Losing weight isn’t necessarily a ‘cure’ for carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr Nathan added. But if you are overweight and having problems, losing even a few kilograms might take some pressure of this vulnerable nerve.

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