Steps to Take to Avoid Carpal Tunnel

Most people have heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from a friend or coworker, but many may not know what it is or how it can be prevented. Hand surgeons see chronic cases of carpal tunnel regularly, and many could be avoided completely or minimized with just a few simple practices.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The bones in your hand are your carpal bones, and many nerves run beneath them in channels on your palm and wrist side. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when this channel begins to be compressed or pinched. The result is pain, tingling, numbness, and difficulty using the hand(s). This is the result of repetitive stress or motion, such as in the case of a factory worker who must perform the same action repeatedly for days on end.

Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Stretching

Hand_SurgeonsOffice workers, assembly line employees, and any other individual who performs a repetitive motion for work or a hobby carries the risk of developing CTS. If you have such conditions in your life style, be sure to rest your hands regularly and stretch them thoroughly before and during your day. Try to change positions if possible and offset these fixed positions as much as you can by bending or stretching your hands in the opposite direction of the repetitive motion.

Ergonomics

Hand surgeons often see office workers with carpal tunnel as a result of poor workstation setup. If working on a computer, your wrists should never be bent in an upward position. Maintain good posture and try to keep your wrists straight when typing or performing routine activities. Arrange your workstation in an efficient way, minimizing the number of times you might have to bend or flex your wrists and hands.

Braces

When all else fails, wearing a supportive brace can help keep your wrist stable and correctly positioned. Hand surgeons can recommend the appropriate type for your lifestyle and activities.

Taking time to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome can save you from years of anguish or surgery. Talk to your orthopedic doctor for more tips on reducing your risk of CTS.

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