Examining the association between musculoskeletal injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome in manual laborers

Muscle Nerve. 2016 Jun;54(1):31-5. doi: 10.1002/mus.24982. Epub 2016 Jan 5.


Introduction: The association between musculoskeletal injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has not been investigated in a large, population-based study.

Methods: Latino manual laborers were recruited as part of a study of work-related health conditions. Each had a clinical examination, completed a hand diagram, and had nerve conduction studies.

Results: A total of 512 individuals completed all testing. An association was found between rotator cuff syndrome and CTS, with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.25 (P = 0.01) for the right arm, 2.08 (P = 0.03) for the left arm, and 1.84 (P = 0.03) for all individuals. Associations between epicondylitis and CTS did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions: Individuals with rotator cuff syndrome have a higher prevalence of CTS. Further investigations will be needed to examine for causation and to determine if 1 condition typically occurs first and leads to the other. Muscle Nerve 54: 31-35, 2016.

Keywords: carpal tunnel syndrome; epicondylitis; low back pain; manual labor; rotator cuff syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Community Health Planning
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Report