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Which jobs present the largest risk for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Most employers do their best to provide a safe workplace environment. But while performing your job duties, injuries may be inevitable. Even in the best circumstances, you could get hurt on the job.

Although you may not have experienced the numbness and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), you are probably familiar with someone who has experienced pain related to this repetitive stress injury. But did you know that certain jobs present a greater risk of developing CTS than others?

What studies suggest

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more likely to suffer from CTS than men, presumably due to the size of the carpal tunnel space in female’s wrists.

Certain work-related duties also appear to be connected to higher incidences of CTS. These job positions include:

  • Administrators
  • Baristas
  • Assemblers
  • Food processors

But, in addition to repetitive motions, CTS can also be related to other health concerns.

Steps to help you prevent CTS

Since the body’s processes all work together, there are certain things you can do to help decrease your chances of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Being overweight can contribute to your risk, as can diabetes – working to lose weight and control your blood sugar could help reduce inflammation in your wrists.

You can take breaks to stretch during your workday and work on maintaining proper posture. You may choose to try yoga or wear wrist braces while you sleep to keep your hands in a neutral position throughout the night, rather than pinching the nerves in your wrists.

Be sure to communicate your needs with your employer if you start to experience pain related to completing your job assignments, so you can seek medical attention before symptoms worsen. Even if your job requires repetition known to contribute to the risk of CTS, you do not have to suffer.