Carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity

Carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity have long been linked together. Previous studies have shown that obesity is a RISK FACTOR for carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS) A recent study at Kent and Canterbury hospital by Jeremy Bland investigated this link even more. Information was collected on over 6,000 patients looking at carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity. Patients with their second case of CTS and those with diabetes or conditions were excluded from the study because the researchers just wanted to look at obesity by itself as a risk factor.




In the end this study showed that being overweight is a SIGNIFICANT RISK FACTOR for carpal tunnel syndrome in PATIENTS UNDER THE AGE OF 63 YEARS, but less so in older patients (Finally a little good news as we get older!) However, patients over the age of 63, have a different set of risk factors that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, such as ARTHRITIS, HYPOTHYROIDISM, and DIABETES. (SEE you knew it wouldn't last long didn't you!!)

Another recent study also looked at carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity by Dr Yuksel Kaplan at Gaziomanpasa University in Turkey. His study showed a link with carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity along with your wrist shape (i.e. Width and thickness of the wrist)

But somewhat suprising, his study also showed that weight loss in obese patients does not bring relief of carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Kaplan has suggested a genetic link between the two conditions or a genetic profile that pre-disposes a patient to both conditions.





A "SQUARER" SHAPED WRIST and OBESITY pre-disposes some people to carpal tunnel syndrome. A simple test measuring the width and thickness of your wrist can tell if you may be at risk for CTS. square wrist sign.

It seems Carpal tunnel and obesity will continue to be linked together. Think about it from a practical standpoint... Obesity causes you to retain more fluid within the fat deposits of your body, therefore your carpal tunnel within your wrist area may retain more fluid eventually exerting more pressure over time on the median nerve resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Also remember that obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and arthritis of the joints (especially the knees and ankles) So even though it may not reverse your CTS, weight reduction will benefit you in so many other ways!



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