carpal tunnel syndrome

As technology continues to advance, more and more people spend their days working on computers. While this saves people from having to do manual labor, it also increases their risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition involves numbness, tingling and sometimes pain in the hands as a result of pressure on the nerve going through the wrist. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Take Frequent Breaks

This is good advice for those in many jobs, not just those who work on computers. Ideally, you should aim for a 10 to 15-minute break each hour if possible. Stand up from your desk, walk around a bit to get your blood flowing, and stretch out your hands. Make a tight fist, then fan out your fingers as far as you can. Repeat this exercise several times. Not only will taking breaks help to prevent carpal tunnel, but it also enables you to return to your work refreshed.

Keep Your Wrists Neutral

When typing, don’t allow your wrists to bend too far in either direction. The goal is to keep them in a neutral position where the line from your arm to your wrist to the back of your hand is as straight as possible. This takes the pressure off your medial nerve, which is the common culprit in carpal tunnel cases. You may need to adjust the height of your desk or chair to achieve the optimal position.

Get Regular Massages

Massaging your hands and wrists can help to reduce inflammation and pressure on the medial nerve, so aim to do this at the end of every work week or more often if needed. Ask a friend or family member to help you out, or hire a massage therapist for a professional rub-down.

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Warm It Up

Cold weather can make carpal tunnel symptoms worse, so get a small space heater for your desk, or ask your office manager to turn the heat up a bit. You can also try wearing fingerless gloves when typing. They’ll keep your hands warm without getting in the way of the task at hand.

By following these tips, you’ll minimize your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you do still develop the condition after following these tips, you can treat the discomfort with over-the-counter medications, or your doctor can prescribe you something a bit stronger if needed.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. If you’re looking into massage therapists, Hannah recommends Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC.


INFOGRAPHIC: How To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In The Office

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