Is Wearing An Elastic Band Around Your Wrist Dangerous? An Expert Answers
It's safe to say that everyone who uses hair ties will, at some point, wrap the stretchy band around their wrist.
It's an incredibly convenient location, handily built into our bodies to rest the hair accessory when we're not using it on our heads.
But a recent story horror story about a woman who reported wearing an elastic band around her wrist for the last 30 years has made some consider storing their hair ties in their pockets or bags, instead.
According to Yahoo Style, Canadian woman Lisa McClennan reported that her bad habit had aggravated her Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, making the condition more severe on the hand where she normally ties the elastic.
"It was just a habit, it was always on my wrist whenever it wasn’t in my hair," McClennan explained.
And because all of us, even celebs like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber, are fond of storing our hair ties around our wrists, we decided to ask an expert whether McClennan's theory held up.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Dr Robert Boland is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists. He explained to 10 daily exactly what's going on in the body when someone's experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
"One of the main nerves that goes through your hand goes through a tunnel, the Carpal Tunnel. The floor of the tunnel is formed by bones and the roof of the tunnel is formed by a ligament, so it’s sort of like a letter U," he said.
The nerve relies on a blood supply, which, if restricted, will "struggle for breath".
"And the way a nerve tells you it’s struggling for breath is it causes, first of all, pins and needles, that’s the signal getting interrupted, and then it gets numb which is when the signal isn’t getting through at all," Dr Boland added.
The symptoms of CTS can also include darting pain in the wrist, referred pain into the arm and shoulder, and weakness of the hand, according to Better Health.
Could A Hair Tie Really Inflict That Much Damage?
"It’s hard to believe that a hair tie, which you have to wind around a few times to do the job for hair, you don’t just put it around once, you wind it and wind it," Dr Boland told 10 daily.
"I suspect at the very best, it was an interaction between what was waiting to happen and the band. I don’t see how a hair band would provide enough pressure externally to then transfer internally because the nerve supply within the nerve is actually within the tunnel, it doesn’t come from those veins and arteries that you see outside [the hand]."
Dr Boland explained that women can be affected at three stages of their life when it comes to CTS -- pregnancy, menopause and being in their seventh or eighth decade. While for men, CTS usually happens "with age".
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be caused by trauma, he added.
"So if you fracture your wrist, if you get what’s called a Colles fracture, a fracture of the radius in the wrist, it’s very common for people to get either transitory or more definite (which requires surgery) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome," he said.
So while it seems hair bands are unlikely to cause CTS, we still might just slip ours off our wrists and pop it safely somewhere else -- just in case.
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