What You Need to Know About Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

| September 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

übungen für den arm und die handCarpal tunnel syndrome is pain, numbness or other problems in your wrist or hand. It is caused by compression or pressure on the median nerve and tendons that run through the carpal tunnel from the forearm to the wrist (check out this diagram for more information). It is a painful condition that is luckily preventable. Read on to learn more.

Please note that the advice below is not intended to take the place of advice from a licensed physician. If you have pain or an injury, contact your doctor for a thorough check up.

Causes

In order to properly treat carpal tunnel syndrome, you have to understand what exactly is causing it. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Repetitive hand movements such as typing, texting, knitting, gaming, etc.
  • Pregnancy
  • Health conditions that cause swelling such as diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, lupus, etc.
  • Broken bones, bone spurs, and dislocated bones.
  • Smoking
  • Tumors
  • Aging

Once you pinpoint the cause, you can work towards finding a solution..

Prevention is Key

Woman with a injured wrist wrapped in an bandage, feeling pain, outdoors. Black and white image, pain area of red color.

It is always better to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from occurring than it is to treat the symptoms. Here are a few things that you can do if you start to feel a little bit of pain or numbness in your wrists, or just to prevent pain or injury in the first place.

Stretch

Before doing activities that cause your wrists to ache, do a series of stretches much like you would do if you were exercising. Here are some stretches that will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Extend your arm in front of you, palm up. Grasp your finger tips and gently bend your wrist backwards towards your body, stretching your forearm and wrist. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.
  • Put your arm out in front of you fully extended with your hand facing out as if you were telling someone to stop. Place your other hand perpendicular to your fingers and pull your hand and wrist slowly towards your body. You may need to bend your elbow slightly to feel the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds then switch arms.
  • Press your palms together in front of your chest. Keeping your hands together, pull your hands down towards your stomach until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 seconds then repeat 3 times.

Go Ergonomic

Although ergonomic tools are a bit more expensive than traditional ones, they will save you pain and frustration in the long run. If you use a computer for your job, purchase an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to protect your wrists.

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There are also many ergonomic tools available for your hobbies as well, whether you sew, garden, craft, game etc. Do your research and find ergonomic tools for your line of work or for your hobbies to prevent injury.

Take Frequent Breaks

When you are doing tasks that tend to cause your wrists to flare up, take a break every 20-30 minutes to rest. If you need to, perform the stretches mentioned above during your brief break.

Adjust the Height of Your Chair

If you use the computer at work, your chair may not be in an ergonomic position, causing pain in your wrists, arms, and back. Your chair should place your arms at a 90 degree angle against your desk. If you cannot put your feet on the floor, use a foot rest to support your feet. If your desk is too short to do this, adjust it higher, or use a different chair.

Use Your Phone Less

Your phone may be causing pain in your wrists due to the awkward angle that you put your hands in when you text. Pay attention to how using your phone makes your hands and wrists feel, and when possible, use a computer instead. Choose a phone model that fits in your hands nicely to prevent injury.

Wear a Brace

It may be helpful to wear a wrist brace for a few days to give your body a needed rest. A brace will prevent movement in the wrist and arms, allowing your muscles and tendons to take a break and heal. Wear it while you are sleeping as well as when you are active during the day for optimal healing.

 

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