Is it possible to get carpal tunnel syndrome from scratching lottery tickets? Or playing slot machines? Those slots are mainly push-button now. You have very few cranks to pull. But pushing buttons is a repetitive action. And scratching scratchers involves squeezing a coin.
When I coached volleyball in Cuba (Missouri), one of my best players had carpal tunnel surgery. It wasn't due to volleyball. I'm not sure WHAT it was due to. She played clarinet in the band, but I don't think carpal tunnel syndrome is an occupational hazard for clarinetists. She also came in late on more than one occasion, the pockets of her jean jacket filled with syringes. COW MEDICINE, people! She had to help her dad give the cattle shots before school. And in the summer, she hauled hay, because it was easy money and a good workout. That might have done it, right there. Lifting the square bales by the twine.
Anyhoo...when I worked at
Here's the thing about writing prices by hand. You have to grip the merchandise with one hand, while writing on it with the other. Your wrists are controlling your hands in a limited range of motion. Those tendons are tightened, holding your hands in position.
At night, I'd wake up in agony. The only way to make the pain bearable was to go to the kitchen and hold my hands up to the wrist in a bowl of ice water. Do you know how much holding your hands and wrists in a bowl of ice water hurts? Less than NOT holding your hands and wrists in a bowl of ice water, after a day of clenching them like claws, holding and writing on merchandise.
I think my self-diagnosis, even before the internet, was spot-on. Once I quit working there to go back to teaching after finishing my master's degree...that pain stopped. Now I feel like it's trying to creep back. Not nearly as bad. Yet. I hope that's not it.
At some points in your life, surgery is no big deal. You're young. You heal fast. You adapt. The pain doesn't even bother you that much. When you're in high school, for instance. When you're old, you avoid surgery with a passion. How can you even wipe your own butt? Carry a 44 oz Diet Coke?
Is the fear of surgery worth stopping lottery scratching and slots? I don't think so.