Carpal tunnel syndrome among grocery store workers

Am J Ind Med. 1994 Feb;25(2):229-45. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700250209.


The California Department of Health Services evaluated carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a median nerve entrapment condition associated with forceful and repetitive wrist motion, among grocery store workers at a large California supermarket where a CTS cluster had been reported. Forceful and repetitive wrist motion was measured, in three exposure levels, through a job classification scheme based upon type of work tasks and average time per week spent performing these tasks. A medical questionnaire and measurements of median sensory nerve conduction were used to measure CTS. CTS prevalence was 23% based upon a sample of 56 participants drawn from a workforce of 69 employees. A relative risk of 8.3 (95% confidence interval 2.6-26.4) for a history of CTS-like symptoms between the high and low exposure level groups held up after adjustment for the potential confounders of age, sex, alcohol consumption, and high-risk medical history. It was concluded that the basic principles of good ergonomic design should be used to prevent or diminish the risk of musculoskeletal injury in the workplace.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food Handling*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors