In today’s fast-paced life filled to the brim with finger-intensive activities, the problem of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is becoming increasingly common. This is a joint condition which occurs when the median nerve that travels through the wrist is put under pressure by the surrounding tissue. The most common symptoms of this problem are numbness in the fingers, wrist pain, weakness along with prolonged tingling sensation.
What you can do ?
1-) Avoid over-exerting the wrist: Keep the wrist in neutral position and refrain from unnecessarily stretching or bending the wrists. While using a hand-tool or doing any manual work, avoid putting too much stress on the wrists. Most importantly, do not grip the tool too tightly.
2-) Make your workspace ergonomic-friendly: Try to make the workplace or the things that you are using at work wrist-friendly. Use tools that don’t require greater force or grip while using it. If you are using the keyboard and mouse, keep the wrists straightened or use wrist rests. Keep your wrists and forearms in a straight line as much as possible. Do not keep your wrists on the edge of the table or desk you are working at.
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3-) Take frequent breaks: Give your wrists regular periods of rest whether you are doing manual work or using hand tools. If possible, rest your often used hand for a while and use the other hand. In this way, the work would get distributed between the two hands.
4-) Use an icepack: Apply ice wrapped in a cloth on the wrists to temporarily reduce the pain, swelling or inflammation. Do this twice or thrice a day.
5-) Get a wrist splint: A wrist splint will keep your wrist in a straightened position with respect to the hand, thus reducing pressure on the median nerve. It also acts as a stabilizer for the wrist. Wearing a splint can help reduce the pain sensation. However, try not to wear it all the time.
6-) Stay away from vibrating tools: This may be difficult to do if you work with hand-tools every day.However, you should try to reduce the use of vibrating tools as this will only worsen the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Request your employer to assign tasks that do not involve heavy tool use, at least while you are under treatment.
7-) Don’t make repetitive movements: The wrist joint is highly flexible. But it is not designed for intensive or repetitive use. Try to avoid making repetitive motions with the affected wrist. You can shift some of the workload to the other hand until the problem subsides.
8- Watch your weight: Obese people have a heightened risk of suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The deposition of fat in the body may put pressure on the median nerve, triggering uncomfortable symptoms. Thus, make sure your body weight remains in the normal range with respect to your age and height.
9-) Sleep properly: Keeping the wrists under the pillow while sleeping may feel nice, but this puts prolonged stress on the joint, which in turn can increase the discomfort. So remember to keep the wrists straight in line with the hand and in a relaxed position.
10-) Avail medical help: Many people have the habit of just ignoring the pain and numbness, hoping that it will go away on its own. This lack of care will only worsen the problem. If you notice any of the symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then you should visit a specialised joint pain treatment clinic and consult the experts.