The following factors may increase your risk of experiencing a pinched nerve:

  • Posture. Poor posture adds pressure to your spine and nerves.
  • Sex. Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, possibly due to having smaller carpal tunnels.
  • Bone spurs. Trauma or a condition that causes bone thickening, such as osteoarthritis, can cause bone spurs. Bone spurs can stiffen the spine as well as narrow the space where your nerves travel, pinching nerves.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can compress nerves, especially in your joints.
  • Thyroid disease. People with thyroid disease are at higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk of nerve compression.
  • Overuse. Jobs or hobbies that require repetitive hand, wrist or shoulder movements, such as assembly line work, increase your likelihood of a pinched nerve.
  • Obesity. Excess weight can add pressure to nerves.
  • Pregnancy. Water and weight gain associated with pregnancy can swell nerve pathways, compressing your nerves.
  • Heredity. Some people appear to be genetically predisposed to conditions that lead to pinched nerves.
Jan. 02, 2014