Many people experience discomfort in their fingers, hands, wrists and forearms. This can range from numbness, tingling like the hand is falling asleep, loss of feeling, aches and pains and loss of strength causing items to be dropped.
I’d like to give you ideas on how to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome or, if you’re having this condition, how you can obtain relief.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely common condition of the forearm, wrist, hands and fingers particularly the thumb, index and middle fingers many times brought on by repetitive stress. Mostly, this condition responds to conservative treatment vs. surgery.
Since carpal tunnel syndrome affects so many people I’d like to give you ideas to reduce the effects.
First, avoid over-use or repetitive strain. For instance, rather that getting all your typing or keying done all at once when replying to your emails, periodically get up and do something else. By taking breaks we can reduce the repetitive stress to the hands and wrist and give those areas a chance to rest and hopefully not get overly irritated.
Second, wear a carpal tunnel syndrome brace at night to support the wrist. This brace is like a long glove with the thumb and fingers cut out. It has a plastic or metal stay at the palm and wrist which keeps the wrist from bending and getting irritated. These can be bought at your local drug store.
Third, be aware of your wrist posture. Try to keep your wrists in a neutral position when typing, keying or using a computer mouse. If your wrist is in an awkward position for long periods of time it will get irritated.
Fourth, gently stretch your wrist up and down and individually stretch your fingers up and down in the morning and periodically through the day to keep movement and flexibility.
Many times there is an association between carpal tunnel syndrome and our neck. Nerves exit the spine in the neck area and make their way into our wrist and hand. If the nerve is pinched in the neck it can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome. So we always check both the wrist and the neck and aim our treatments at the appropriate areas.