The carpal tunnel is the passageway in your wrist that allows the median nerve to pass through. This nerve is responsible for movement and sensation in your hand and fingers. Also known as median nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed by a narrowed carpal tunnel passageway, which is usually caused by inflammation or swelling. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the affected hand. Occupations that require a lot of typing and repetitive motions with your hands and wrists put you at high risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. There are 3 simple steps you can take to decrease your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
In Order to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, You Need To:
1. Take Breaks Regularly
Prolonged, repetitive motions with your hands and wrists could cause carpal tunnel syndrome. In order to keep the muscles and tendons relaxed, it is important to take regular rest breaks. As a rule, you should try to take a break at least once every 10-15 minutes. Even letting your hands relax and stretch for 1 or 2 minutes can help reduce the strain on your hands and wrists, especially if you type all day.
2. Use Wrist Guards & Ergonomic Keyboards
Wearing wrist guards can provide support and protection for your wrists and hands. You may also be able to ask your employer for an ergonomic keyboard. The keyboard has a different shape that provides support for your wrists as you type, reducing muscle strain tension in your arms and hands.
3. Exercise Your Hands & Wrists Frequently
You need to exercise your hands at least once every 20-60 minutes to reduce tension and keep the muscles supple and relaxed. One exercise you can do is to hold your hands out in front of you with palms out, like you are pushing against a wall. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and repeat a few times. Another exercise you can do is to curl your hands into fists and angle them downward, with your arms extended in front of you. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and repeat a few times. Stretching can help ease the tension in your hands, wrists, and arms, particularly if you have been typing all day.
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