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What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

The median nerve is very sensitive to pressure, and in most cases there isn’t an obvious cause. Some of the possible causes include:

  • any form of arthritis in the wrist if there’s swelling of the wrist joint or the tendons that run through the carpal tunnel
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy – these can sometime affect connective tissues and so put pressure on the nerve
  • an underactive thyroid gland
  • diabetes
  • fracture of the wrist
  • occasionally, some medications, particularly exemestane and anastrazole (treatments for breast cancer).

Your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome may be greater if your job places heavy demands on your wrist, or if you use vibrating tools.

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