5 Ways to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

Your job or your hobbies may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in your hands, wrists, and forearms. It can also cause weakness and a sensation like an electric shock, especially when you’re holding a steering wheel, phone, or carrying heavy items.

Certain people are more at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including women, people with obesity, and those whose wrist anatomy is shaped a certain way.

Although carpal tunnel is often caused by repetitive motions, it is preventable with the proper care. Talk to your doctor at Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine about how to manage your carpal tunnel. In the meantime, try these tips to prevent carpal tunnel.

Take rest breaks

With many jobs requiring repetitive motions, such as using a computer or a machine, it’s easy for the tendons and muscles in your hands and wrists to feel the strain of overuse. Many hobbies, such as computer gaming or even knitting, also put continuous stress on your hands and wrists.

Take regular breaks to give your hands and wrists a chance to rest. If possible, rest for 10 to 15 minutes out of every hour. During this break, stretch out your hands and wrists.

Go lightly

Some jobs require a lot of force and pressure. You may not have much control over how much force you have to exert in these jobs. However, in other jobs or your hobbies, you may have the option to use a lighter touch.

If the pressure on your hands and wrists is from gaming, try holding the game controller more gently. If your pressure is caused by typing, get an ergonomic keyboard that holds your hands in a more natural, comfortable position. If you use a cash register, press the keys more gently. If your job involves a lot of handwriting, use a pen with a large, soft-grip adapter.  

Stretch out your hands and wrists

Certain exercises can help make your hands and wrists feel better while you’re working. Try these stretches:

Or try another stretch:

Watch your form

So much about preventing carpal tunnel has to do with ergonomics and form. This has to do with the position in which you hold your body while you work. For example, if you’re hunched over, you’ll put more strain on different muscles.

Pay attention to your posture and keep your form correct. Make sure that your shoulders are properly centered and your neck is upright. Hold your wrists in the proper position, so your work is not putting a strain on them.

Stay warm

Cold temperatures can aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome. If your workplace is cold and you don’t have a lot of control over the temperature, try wearing lightweight gloves while you work.

You can also enlist people to help you. Ask your supervisor if there’s anything you can do to make your workstation more ergonomically comfortable. Make sure to make an appointment with the doctors at Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine to get professional help with your carpal tunnel as well. You can even request an appointment online at one of our seven locations.

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