Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve running from the forearm through the wrist and to the hand becomes compressed, according to Mayo Clinic. The nerve runs through a space called the carpal tunnel. Pain occurs when space becomes crowded or compressed.
Work-related carpal tunnel syndrome often happens due to forced or repetitive movements with the hand, vibrations in the hand or arm, or long periods of work in one position, notes WebMD. A broken wrist can cause compression of the median nerve. Bone spurs or new bone growth on a healing bone in the wrist can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Health problems that affect the joints and soft tissues in the arm, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, diabetes and hypothyroidism, can also contribute to carpal tunnel pain.