Are Fibromyalgia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Connected?

In today’s world, we’re constantly dealing with our hands and wrists. We’re at the computer, we’re on our mobile devices, and we’re doing lots of things with our hands. Because of this, disorders like carpal tunnel have become a lot more common among people.

There are actually a lot of connections between carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia. If you are having issues with your hands and wrists and you’ve already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you will definitely want to consider this.

Looking at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

So imagine that you’re sitting at your desk and you are typing up a report for your boss. You’ve been sitting there for awhile, going back and correcting errors and looking up information on the internet in order to have the most accurate report possible. Then, you start to get this odd feeling in your wrists, arms, and hands.

They start to tingle, and eventually, the whole area really starts to hurt! This is because there are nerves in your wrists and, if you put too much pressure on them for too long, the nerves start to pinch and it causes a lot of pain.

The median nerve, which is the main nerve in this area of the body, is the one that gets most affected by this. This nerve goes from right below your elbow, through your forearm, into your wrist, and ends in your hand. This long nerve does a lot of work, and because we lean on our wrists a lot (or do other types of work with them), carpal tunnel syndrome ends up occurring. If you didn’t know, the reason this is called carpal tunnel syndrome is because the area where the median nerve is located is called the “carpal tunnel.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Anyway, unlike most other diseases, there really isn’t a particular “type” of person who can end up getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Basically, if you do a lot of work with your hands, wrists, and/or arms, you’re going to end up being at risk for it. Granted, there are some risk factors that can come into play – pregnant women, diabetics, and those suffering from autoimmune diseases are, ultimately, more likely to get it. But the difference really isn’t that much. If you’re doing the same thing over and over with your wrists and hands, you have a chance of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

The good news is, you can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome in a lot of ways. There are keyboards out there that are made so that your wrists have less pressure on them, thus making it so that your risk is less. You can make sure that you’re taking breaks regularly. You can also do exercises that help to stretch out your wrists and that help you to be more flexible, thus reducing your chances of compressing the nerve and, thus, ending up with carpal tunnel syndrome.

 Fibromyalgia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

How Does Carpal Tunnel Relate to Fibromyalgia?

Now, fibromyalgia, even though we didn’t mention it above, is also a risk factor for carpal tunnel. Those who are dealing with fibromyalgia are a lot more likely (4 to 6 times more likely, in fact) to get carpal tunnel. And that’s when you compare it to everyone in the world who may have a chance of getting the disease. Some people even say it’s one of the biggest risk factors for carpal tunnel. In the case of fibromyalgia, it’s more common to see women who have carpal tunnel with it instead of men, even though both genders get it.

Of course, this begs the question – why is fibromyalgia such a big risk factor? As with many things that are related to fibromyalgia, there really isn’t a definitive answer, even though there are a number of answers that sound like they could make a bit of sense in there.

One of the most common explanations for the relationship between carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia is the fact that the body is already sensitive to pain.

Since carpal tunnel is when you are putting pressure on the median nerve, the pressure is already going to hurt more because of the fibromyalgia, meaning it needs less pressure to start giving you a problem. There are other theories as well, including ones related to poor posture, and others that are related to the fact that those with fibromyalgia are more likely to suffer injuries because they are doing so much to try and reduce the pain that they are dealing with.

So what can you do in order to reduce the issues from carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia? Along with all of the different tips that we mentioned above, there are some other things you can do. Your doctor may suggest that you use steroid shots in order to help and relieve the pain from your carpal tunnel syndrome, but that’s usually only in the worst cases where it has started to become debilitating.

Make sure that you rest your wrists regularly and don’t continue to do repetitive motions too often. Consider wearing braces on your wrists, and make sure that your chair is comfortable and encourages you to have good posture.

If none of those suggestions are working, your doctor may also suggest that you have some sort of surgery – but like the shots, this is a worst case scenario situation that we’re talking about here.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome isn’t really something to be nervous about, but it can cause a lot of pain and stress if you don’t get it taken care of properly. Like fibromyalgia, taking care of your symptoms is a vital part of the treatment program. There are lots of things that you can do to treat both disorders, and you should be able to do everything that you want to do. Talk to your specialist for more information and ask them any questions that you may have about both of these disorders – they can give you specialized advice for your particular situation.

Further reading:

Fibromyalgia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS):

Top 10 Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: