We’ve all heard about carpal tunnel syndrome, how painful it can be, and how it often requires a skilled orthopedic surgeon to heal. But many people are unaware of how you contract it and what can be done to prevent it. You are at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome if you frequently engage in activities that require repetitive hand movements, such as typing, hammering, and knitting. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce that risk by following these steps:
Take Lots of Breaks
Give yourself permission to rest your fingers and hands every so often. After all, you're a human being, not a machine. Bend and stretch your hands gently to relax them. Taking frequent breaks is especially important if you use equipment that requires a lot of exertion.
Lighten Your Grip
Many people use more force than necessary when working on a task. If you write by hand most of the time, use a pen that is oversized with free-flowing ink and a soft grip. If your work requires lots of typing, tap the keys softly.
Maintain Correct Posture
Sitting in the wrong position can cause your shoulders to roll forward, which shortens the muscles in your neck and shoulders and also affects your hands and wrists. Make a habit of sitting up instead of slouching.
Keep Your Hands Warm
A cold environment can contribute to stiff and painful hands. Turn up the heat in your working area. If you're unable to do this for some reason, wearing fingerless gloves is an easy alternative.
Practice Healthy Habits
Genetics and certain health conditions make you more prone to contracting carpal tunnel syndrome. However, maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, and avoiding smoking could keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay.
Buy a Wrist Splint
Wrist splints can assist in keeping your wrists in a neutral position. They usually cost about $15 to $20, and you can purchase one at your local pharmacy or online. You can even wear one to bed to keep your wrists from bending while you sleep.
If you’re beyond the point of preventing carpal tunnel syndrome and you’re currently struggling with the pain it causes, the skilled staff at Michigan Hand and Wrist can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!