What Is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common affliction all across the United States. Its symptoms are pain and tingling in your hand and wrist, due to pressure on your wrist’s median nerve. One of the most common causes of carpal tunnel is repetitive wrist motion, so the syndrome is sweeping the nation thanks to more and more frequent computer use.
Fortunately, if you work in an environment where you are at high risk for carpal tunnel, there are things you can do to prevent getting it in the first place, as well as home remedies that can help ease the pain. Here are a few tips on avoiding it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder of the hand caused by compression of the median nerve.
1. Stay Healthy Overall
While you may be tired of hearing that the solution to so many physical problems is diet and exercise, it actually plays a huge part on how your body functions as a whole. When your body is unhealthy because of poor nutrition, a sedentary lifestyle, or harmful habits like smoking, you have a greater chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Other health conditions like diabetes or arthritis can contribute as well. Do your best to stay healthy in your everyday life, and your body will thank you.
2. Organize Your Workspace Ergonomically
You can minimize some of the pressure computer use puts on your wrist by keeping your workspace ergonomically-friendly. If you can get an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, go for it; they are extremely helpful. Pay attention to things like the height of your chair and how close it is to your screen, the placement of your computer monitor, and whether you might need a headset for frequent phone conversations. There are plenty of websites willing to guide you in setting up your office area the best possible way.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
Repetitive motion without much of a break is one of the leading causes of carpal tunnel, so we highly recommend switching things up, even if it’s only standing and stretching. If you have several activities and can switch between them, do that throughout the day so you don’t find yourself typing nonstop for eight hours. If you find your hands or wrists are getting tired, that’s a signal that it’s time to take a longer breaks if you can. Taking regular two-minute breaks can give your wrists a rest long enough to help lower your chances of carpal tunnel.
4. Do Wrist Stretches
Be productive on those mini-breaks and do some wrist stretches at your desk. There are several easy ones you can do while sitting, such as squeezing a tennis ball as hard as you can or bringing in small weights from home and doing simple wrist curls. They only take a minute or two, and when you’re done you can go back to work, your wrists a little stronger than they were before.