Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common and painful condition that affects the wrist and hand. It can impact the ability to perform everyday tasks and work comfortably. In this blog, we’ll explore what carpal tunnel syndrome is, its symptoms, and how you can avoid and manage it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that occurs when the median nerve, a nerve that runs from your forearm into your hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist within the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is a narrow passageway in your arm made up of bones and ligaments.
Symptoms of CTS include;
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness contributing to weakened grip strength and a tendency to drop objects
- Pain such as aching or burning up the arm from the wrist
- Night time symptoms where pain frequently worsens at night, leading to reduced sleep
How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Here are ways you can minimize stress on your hands to prevent, avoid, or manage CTS.
1. Relax your wrists
To alleviate tension in your hands, it’s important to relax your grip in your hands and wrists. This is especially important for people whose work involves using a keyboard or cash register. Instead of pressing forcefully, aim to strike the keys softly. These small approaches can reduce the risk of overexertion and stress on your hands. Minimizing the pressure on your wrists can ultimately alleviate stress and promote relaxation for your hands.
2. Take short, frequent breaks
Taking a few moments to gently stretch and bend your hands and wrists is an essential practice, especially for people who spend extended hours working at a desk. Repetitive motions and incorrect posture while sitting at a desk can affect your hands and wrists, potentially leading to CTS. Integrating hand and wrist stretches and movements in your routine can help relieve tension, enhance circulation, and promote flexibility in your hands. Even a few minutes can enhance your productivity and help manage CTS.
3. Watch your form
Avoid extreme wrist flexion, either upwards or downwards. Maintaining a comfortable neutral wrist position is the most optimal form. If you use a computer often, ensure your keyboard is positioned at or slightly below elbow height. This way, it minimizes strain on your wrists in either direction.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects the wrist and hand. Recognizing the symptoms and implementing effective treatment and management strategies is crucial to prevent pain and discomfort in the long run.