If you are experiencing pain in your arms, based on individual risk factors, there may be an increased likelihood you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). According to a team of researchers, certain factors can play a role in your prevalence to developing this painful syndrome.
Between July 2007 and August 2008, a cross-sectional study was performed on 1000 patients who presented with arm pain. Two hundred fifty cases, comprised of 34 men and 216 women (18 to 69 years), were diagnosed with CTS based on electrodiagnostic criteria. An additional 750 cases (102 men and 648 women) that did not have CTS were also included in the study. The following factors were assessed: body mass index (BMI), wrist anterior-posterior/medial-lateral diameter ratio, occupation, history of steroid use, family history, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, congestive heart failure, history of wrist fracture, smoking, use of oral contraceptive pills, history of hysterectomy, and menopause.
The prevalence of CTS was 25% in the group studied. Mean BMI was higher in CTS patients in both genders and the wrist dimension ratio was also found to be higher in the CTS group. Steroid use was reported in 2% of the control group and in 8% of the CTS group. Diabetes mellitus was found in 4% of the control group and in 11.2% of the CTS group. Of the control group, 8.8% had reached menopause, as compared to 25.2% in the CTS group. The female to male ratio was 7 to 1.
“In this specific study group, diabetes, high BMI, wrist dimension ratio, hormonal changes associated with menopause, and steroid use were positively associated with CTS,” stated Dr. Seyed M. Rayegani. “Due to the high prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially in women, it is recommended that physicians refer patients with hand pain, numbness, and night awakening of hand numbness for evaluation by a trained electrodiagnostic physician.” Treatment of CTS is based on the stage of the disease. In mild and early stages conservative treatment using medication, a wrist splint, or job modification can improve symptoms. More advanced stages may need more aggressive treatments such as surgery.”
The complete findings and results of this study are being presented at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) 56th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, October 7-10, 2009.
Materials provided by American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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