Is Carpal Tunnel Hereditary? Find Out The Truth

Carpal Tunnel syndrome(CTS) is a condition that affects the wrists and hands. It is known to occur when your median nerve running from forearm to hand becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. This is often seen opening in the structure called carpal tunnel; a narrow passageway formed by carpal bones and a tough rigid ligament that houses tendons as well as the median nerve. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Genetics, and Lifestyle Factors

Its symptoms include numbness and tingling, pain, weakness, worsening symptoms at night, and Thumb muscle atrophy. Carpal tunnel patients often complain of a tingling pain on the fingers which could lead to numbing as well. A sharp pain makes it difficult to carry on with daily chores. One could also lose grip strength and can never hold anything properly. At night, the pain would be worse and thus impact sleep. In long-term cases, people often end up experiencing shrinkage of muscles near the thumb. 

Carpal Tunnel syndrome Hereditary

Hereditary Disease

A hereditary disease is also known as a genetic disease which is passed down from one generation to another. With the alterations and mutations in genetic DNA, it could be a single-gene or multi-gene mutation. These make it prone to be inherited from one or both parents. Running in families, if a family member is diagnosed with the disease, chances are higher that other members might also have it. They could be carriers and might develop the condition at a later stage. While genetic testing could unveil the true story not all who inherit the gene can contract the disease. Some could have it worse and others might not even feel anything. Moreover, genetic diseases have no treatment but we can surely seek medical help to alleviate the painful symptoms. Some doctors also suggest lifestyle changes or anything that could potentially avert similar results.

Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Classified As A Hereditary

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is not typically classified as a hereditary disease. This is because it has both genetic and nongenetic factors at play. Individuals often inherit a narrow carpal tunnel from their parents which makes it vulnerable to the disease. Additionally, researchers have been able to discover the presence of disease in individuals if their family has cases of carpal tunnel present with a higher incidence rate.  The carpal tunnel is also evident in diabetic patients and with one undergoing hormonal changes like pregnancy.

There are also some nongenetic causes like repetitive hand movements, forceful hand postures, and obesity. It could mean even if you might have the mutation it couldn’t take effect until your lifestyle supports its progression with external factors. So a combination of both makes it a multifactorial disease as there are genetic and nongenetic reasons. This makes genetic predisposition only a part of the coin. 

Why seek treatment and what are your options?

You can never treat the condition completely but make it bearable for you or the patient by seeking treatment options. There are multiple reasons why you should go for it. Firstly, the pain could affect your quality of life and therefore pain management should be your concern. The recurring numbness could disrupt the way we live life and there is no way to go on like that. Secondly, if you don’t treat the ailment, you might soon use all the movement in your hands or worst cases nerve damage.

If your job requires you to have manual dexterity this might be a good reason to visit a healthcare professional so they could suggest medicines. Thirdly, people who have carpal tunnel often lose sleep due to the aggravated pain in the nerves and this could impact their cognition. It can cause problems in memory concentration or even emotions as you are continually undergoing pain.

So what are the options? You can go for either surgical or nonsurgical options. While the former has carpal tunnel release surgery to widen the gap between the carpal bones and endoscopic for the same procedure in a less invasive way, the latter includes medications like NSAIDs, improving ergonomics, and even physical therapy to prevent its reoccurrence. 

The carpal tunnel is and is not a hereditary disease that should be treated to live a better life. Tests should be conducted and to select the right way, you should talk with your physician.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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