Make an appointment

514-509-2000 | FR

Construction Workers: Don’t Let Carpal Tunnel Gain the Upper Hand

Dr Brutus - April 12, 2018

Thousands of workers are getting ready to go back to work as Quebec’s annual construction holiday comes to an end. As carpenters, joiners, heavy machine operators, bricklayers, tile layers, and painters are getting ready to pick their tools up once again, it’s worth reminding them about good practices to avoid hurting their hands at work and prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

First, let’s remember that carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve inside the carpel tunnel in your wrist is compressed. Symptoms can appear for several reasons, including repeated flexing and gripping, which are particularly common in construction work since workers are often using tools that vibrate and that need to be held up or kept in place for long periods of time.


Carpal tunnel syndrome has many symptoms. Construction workers should pay special attention to the warning signs if they don’t want to put their health at risk. The aftereffects may be irreversible if the condition is not diagnosed and treated in time. So, stay alert: a tinging or burning sensation, lack of feeling, weakness in the wrist, numbness at night, wrist, palm, hand, or even forearm pain, and difficulty holding objects are just a few of the problems associated with carpal tunnel.


There are many preventative measures that can be taken to keep from developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Here are a few simple tips especially for construction workers:

  • -Make sure that you move in a way that follows the natural axis of the wrist. Take time to reposition the tools you are using if your wrists are in flexion.
  • -If your workspace or tools are inadequate, talk to your immediate supervisor about them. Review with them how you work and make your workspace and tools more ergonomic. Your health depends on it.
  • -Try to minimize your risk factors outside of work and give your wrists a rest. Certain hobbies like golf, gardening, knitting, video games, and riding motorcycles are taxing on the wrists, so do them in moderation.
  • -Take the time to warm up your wrist joints, stretch regularly during repetitive tasks, and take breaks often.


Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a doctor might suggest wearing a splint or brace at night or prescribe you an anti-inflammatory. In cases where these treatments prove ineffective, your doctor may recommend surgery. In any event, make sure you consult a hand specialist as soon as symptoms appear to keep the condition from getting worse.

SOURCES (in French) (in French) (in French) (in English) (in French)

Latest news

Can Diet Affect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? image

Can Diet Affect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are numerous and varied. They include repetitive movements, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, wrist injuries and other medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Although their role is not fully understood, these risk factors are well established among health professionals and the population. A lesser-known contributor to the development and ... Can Diet Affect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Read more

Can Trigger Finger Heal on Its Own? image

Can Trigger Finger Heal on Its Own?

A “trigger finger” also known as ‘stenosing tenosynovitis,’  is a common and painful hand  affliction that can interfere with everyday activities. It can affect any finger, but is most frequent in the thumb or ring finger. Some patients experience multiple “trigger fingers” at a time. The general population has a 2.6% chance of developing the ... Can Trigger Finger Heal on Its Own?

Read more

What Happens if Carpal Tunnel is Left Untreated? image

What Happens if Carpal Tunnel is Left Untreated?

Carpal Tunnel is caused by pressure on the median nerve. Over time as the pressure increases, patients may experience discomfort in their wrist, hand and fingers, which impacts their daily life. Oftentimes in the early stages, carpal tunnel is overlooked as fatigue or muscle strain. Even as it progresses, some patients still neglect to seek ... What Happens if Carpal Tunnel is Left Untreated?

Read more

View all news