You don't have to work at a computer to fall victim to carpal tunnel syndrome. Any job that requires repetitive use of your fingers-whether you put in eight-hour shifts on an assembly line or scan groceries at a supermarket register-may cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
This painful condition wasn't understood until the 1970s and may have been diagnosed as arthritis before then. Unfortunately, says Edward Akelman, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital's department of orthopedics, carpal tunnel syndrome isn't likely to become an endangered species anytime soon: "We all require our fingers to do more and more in a shorter period of time."
There are several treatment options; the key is to catch it early. That way, with proper treatment, you're sure to regain your grip on life.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?