Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by numerous factors, but is often triggered by behaviors that cause increased pressure on the median nerve and the carpal tendons. The syndrome is more common in women, and symptoms are often first noticed in the dominant hand. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience numbness, tingling, or shooting pain. Eventually, the condition can become disabling, so take the symptoms seriously.
If you frequently use a computer during the day and want to avoid the possibility of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, consider modifying your behavior in the following ways:
1. Take Frequent Breaks
As you use your computer throughout the day, keep an eye on the clock. For each hour that you're typing on your keyboard, rest your wrists for two to five minutes. Use this time to file papers, make phone calls, stretch, or get up and take a short walk around the office. You may find that you're more productive when you work these frequent breaks into your daily routine.
Support Your Wrists
Consider adding ergonomic equipment to your desk to help you keep your wrists straight. Cushioned mouse pads, padded wrist rests, and other ergonomic desk equipment can help limit the amount of pressure you place on your wrists as you type. This reduces compression on the median nerve and reduces uncomfortable symptoms.
Adjust Your Equipment
Reducing pressure on your wrists may be as easy as adjusting your office chair, your mouse, or your computer monitors. Pay careful attention to the way you sit as you use your computer. You may find that your chair is too low, for example, and that you're putting excess pressure on your wrists.
Your mouse cord may slightly too short, leading you to use the mouse at a strange angle that causes discomfort. Spend some time adjusting your office equipment so that it's positioned as ergonomically as possible. This may reduce any painful symptoms you're experiencing.
As you go throughout your day, take a few minutes to stretch your hands and wrists. If you're using your keyboard constantly, your fingers and hands can get quite tired. Stretching can help release tight muscles, reduce tension, and ease muscle pain. In addition, taking a break to stretch temporarily removes any pressure that you're putting on the median nerve and the wrist, providing you with much needed relief.
If you're already experiencing pain or discomfort in your wrists or hands, and are worried that you may be developing carpal tunnel syndrome, consult a local specialist. He'll perform a full evaluation and help develop a treatment plan that's right for your individual situation. For more help, contact a company like Kleiser Therapy with any questions you have.