Carpal Tunnel is one of the most common hand and wrist ailments out there, with millions of cases being treated in the US each year.
There are a handful of factors that can contribute to the development of Carpal Tunnel, one of which is repetitive hand movements. Whether you work in an office, in a factory, or in another profession, if your job requires that you move your hands and wrists in the same way over and over, you could be at risk.
Luckily, there are number of steps you can take to prevent the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here, we’ll review 7 easy things you can try to avoid Carpal Tunnel.
7 Ways to Combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
1. Take Breaks Regularly
While you’re performing your job or the specific task or activity that you think may be causing you to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, be sure to take regular breaks to give your hands and wrists an opportunity to relax.
From typing on a computer to operating machinery, there are dozens of motions that can trigger Carpal Tunnel. Pausing to change positions, stretch, and relax the joints and tendons in your hands and fingers can help to stave off the pain and discomfort that comes with Carpal Tunnel.
2. Do Stretches
From stretching out your fingers to simply shaking out your hands, hand and wrist stretches can make a big difference when it comes to preventing Carpal Tunnel.
Make a conscious effort to take time throughout the day to focus on stretching the areas that are feeling tight or constricted. Stretching will help to improve flexibility and reduce the tightness and compression that can contribute to the development of Carpal Tunnel.
3. Try Strengthening Exercises
In addition to stretching, strengthening can also help to combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These exercises are simple, yet can have a big impact. They’re easy to do right at your workstation, and only take a few minutes a day so they’re well worth a try.
Helpful exercises include:
- Touching each of your fingers to the tip of your thumb
- Making a fist and then stretching your fingers apart as far as they can go
- Making a fist, then gradually opening your hand with your fingers together and pointing your fingers towards the sky, as if you’re signaling for someone to stop
- Squeezing a stress ball or tennis ball, then gradually releasing
4. Use Less Pressure
Sometimes just being conscious of how you’re performing certain activities can help to reduce the likelihood that you’ll develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Keep in mind that you may not need to use as much force as you’re using to accomplish certain tasks, and focus on using good posture and good form in your motions.
Don’t pound on your keyboard, and make an effort to use a softer touch and less pressure when performing other tasks. Doing so could help reduce the stress on your hands and wrists, which, in turn, will help keep your hands and fingers healthy and Carpal Tunnel free.
5. Invest in Ergonomic Equipment
From the curvy keyboard and the funky mouse contraption you may have seen on a coworker’s desk to the wrist rests that accompany many keyboards these days, there are dozens of ergonomic products that can help to prevent the development of Carpal Tunnel.
These pieces of equipment are intended to help keep your hands and wrists in a more natural, comfortable position to reduce stress and tension on your joints and tendons. They’re typically pretty affordable, and well worth the investment if you think you’re at risk for Carpal Tunnel based on the tasks you perform on a daily basis.
6. Wear a Brace
There are a number of supportive braces and wrist splints out there that can help to keep your wrist in a healthy, neutral position. It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before investing in a brace, as he or she will be able to point you in the right direction based on your specific scenario.
7. Start Treating Your Symptoms As Soon As You Notice Them
Taking action quickly if you think you’re developing Carpal Tunnel can help to slow its development and may even help to turn things around. If you think you’re starting to feel some of the symptoms that are typically associated with Carpal Tunnel, start making adjustments.
Incorporate stretches and strengthening exercises into your day, invest in a brace or ergonomic equipment, or set up a consultation with your doctor to find out what next steps could be most beneficial for you.
Think You Might Have Carpal Tunnel?
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you think you may have Carpal Tunnel and you’re looking for ways to prevent it or combat its symptoms.
For more information, including details about treatment options if you have developed Carpal Tunnel, be sure to check out our resource about symptoms, causes, and treatment options for Carpal Tunnel.
Looking for a local doctor who can help diagnose and treat your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Request a consultation with Dr. Garcia of Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery!
For more than a decade, Dr. Garcia has been helping patients in Glens Falls, Saratoga, the Adirondacks, and beyond with hand and wrist ailments. He provides high quality medical care, personalized attention, and artful cosmetic results that leave you feeling healthy, comfortable, and confident.
Ready to take the first step towards recovery? Request a consultation with Dr. Garcia today!