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Everyday Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

wrist pain

Any movement made repeatedly can put you at risk for an overuse injury. Think about a baseball pitcher who throws thousands of balls over the course of weeks, months, and years. Pitchers are notorious for overuse injuries of their shoulders. 

Most of us aren’t throwing thousands of baseballs, but you may still be at risk of an overuse injury if your job or hobby involves the same repetitive movements day in and day out. 

For example, if you type all day, you have a higher likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome than someone who has more variation in their hand and wrist movements. 

The experts at Twin Palm Orthopedics in Ocala, Florida, have treated numerous patients who were dealing with overuse injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome. We’ve found some common traits and put together this list of tips that may help you avoid a painful, chronic issue. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome: What happens

Your median nerve runs through your wrist, between nine flexor tendons. This shared space is called the carpal tunnel. The bundle of tissues running through the carpal tunnel allows you to feel sensation in all of your fingers except your pinky. 

If your carpal tunnel becomes too crowded, due to inflammation or swelling, your median nerve can become compressed. When it’s compressed, you may feel numbness and tingle in your fingers — or your fingers may not work as you expect them to. Here are ways to help you avoid this painful situation. 

Let your wrists rest

Do you ever find yourself working for hours when you're deeply absorbed in a task? While that speaks volumes about your dedication, it can be bad news for your wrists! Consider setting an alarm to help you remember to take a break to stretch your wrists and give them a break. 

Use a light touch

Use only as much force as necessary to do your tasks. If you’re typing, tap the keys gently. Regardless of the activity, go easy when you can, and try to keep your wrist from bending at odd angles or in extreme directions.  

Get stronger! 

You can increase your grip and hand strength through activities like yoga, which can also help improve your wrist mobility. Squeezing a tennis ball or a stress ball can be useful too. Wrist flexion and extension can improve your wrist mobility. 

Evaluate your ergonomics

Check out your workspace. Are you sitting properly, with your feet flat, knees bent at 90 degrees, elbows supported, shoulders relaxed? Is your chair at its proper height, your monitor at eye level, and your keyboard correctly positioned? 

Making seemingly small adjustments to improve your ergonomics can have a big impact. You may want to consider a specially made keyboard to reduce tension on your wrists as well. 

Stay warm 

For people who are prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, being cold can contribute to pain and stiffness. If you can, consider increasing the temperature in your work area. If you can’t do that, you may want to invest in some warm, fingerless gloves to keep your hands and wrists cozy. 

If you’re feeling tingling, numbness, or pain in your fingers, hands, or wrists, schedule an appointment for an evaluation at Twin Palm Orthopedics. Our expert providers are ready to answer your questions!

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