One thing I dread ever having to experience is carpal tunnel syndrome. But considering how much us millennials use our hands everyday to type, text, and play video games, I’m concerned the risk for carpal tunnel may be higher than what it has been for previous generations.
Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a medical condition in which the median nerve in your forearm and hand gets pressured at the wrist. This causes hand numbness, dull pain and tingling, loss of grip strength, poor fine motor skills. All of those things would make life as we millennials know it very difficult, because we are so reliant on our hands to function in or day to day lives.
Risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include sex (females are more prone to it), workplace conditions, age, fitness, and hand posture. People repetitively use their hands in a way that flexes the wrist and uses poor hand posture are at a higher risk. That means poor typing posture, and holding a cell phone could easily be risk factors that lead to onset of the syndrome. Although carpal tunnel is treatable, it can require physical therapy, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, or even surgery.
As it stands today, only 3% of women and 2% of men actually develop carpal tunnel throughout the course of their lifetime. Carpal tunnel is also a disease more often associated with older adults as opposed to younger adults. However, as millennials age their risk factor for developing the syndrome increases.
Lack of fitness and obesity lead to a higher level of risk in developing the disease. Considering that obesity rates have risen steadily over the past several decades, based on the risk factor of just obesity alone we as a generation have cause to concern over a higher percentage of people developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Although no data on the frequency of carpal tunnel among millennials has been collected yet due to carpal tunnel being a syndrome that is usually onset later in life, I think its a safe bet to expect the rates to rise from the respective rates of 3% among women and 2% among men over the next couple decades. Unfortunately, we live in a world reliant on internet connectivity via devies we need to se our hands for. That coupled with unhealthy lifestyle choices will lead to inevitable consequences down the road.