Your wrists are the “work horses” at the end of your arms. They take the brunt of the hours you spend at your computer, to name but one type of compression of their median nerves.
Typing is not the only culprit. Knitters, long-haul drivers, house painters, window washers, artists, tennis players and anyone who works with vibrating equipment has an increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if there is pre-existing wrist pain or weakness.
Carpal tunnel’s pain, numbness and tingling can be debilitating, that’s for sure.
Here are 7 things to consider to help ease the stress on your wrists:
- If you sit at a desk all day, try to set up a body-friendly workstation which includes the ergonomic placement of your computer monitor and desk, the choice of a comfortable chair and the use of a specially designed wrist-rest.
- Check your posture and sit up straight. If you don’t, your shoulders tend to roll forward causing your neck and shoulder muscles to shorten, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.
- Take frequent breaks. Get up from your chair, put down your knitting. Walk, rest, stretch, change positions, shake, bend or stretch your hands and fingers often.
- Think about your daily routine and evaluate it for activities that increase your risk. Efficient body mechanics are one of the keys to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Stay at a healthy weight and try to control other conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
- Keep your hands warm. If you are unable to control the temperature of your workspace, fingerless mitts allow movement of the fingers while warming the hands and wrists.
- Relax your grip if you can. Most of us use more force than needed to perform everyday tasks.
The initial treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome tends to be conservative - anti-inflammatory meds and wrist splints. If these do not help, however, and your pain is severe, there is a surgical option - the operative release of the transverse carpal ligament to take the pressure off the median nerve in your wrists. Dr. Shah is a specialist in this procedure and invites you to contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment, today: 702-684-5502.