Carpal tunnel syndrome: prevention and stretch marks

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You can reduce your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by avoiding repetitive stress and learning to keep your wrists in a neutral position. However, you may be more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome due to underlying medical conditions, anatomical factors, or a wrist injury.

Get Medication Information / Brianna Gilmartin

Health factors

Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome. If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher, you are at higher risk.

It is not known exactly why being overweight increases your risk. You will also reduce many other health risks if you can keep your body weight below 30.

Rheumatoid arthritis , diabetes, and hypothyroidism increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. These and other conditions, which cause inflammation or water retention, constrict the space in the carpal tunnel.

High blood sugar in diabetes damages the nerves. Treating these conditions can reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Age is also a risk factor. Caring for and protecting your wrists is important as you age, especially if you use your hands at work for tasks like writing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in people over the age of 40. It is rare in children.

Wrist flexion and repetitive stress

Knowing the position of your wrist can reduce your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. The neutral position of the wrist is more protective. This is the position where your hand is aligned with your wrist.

Bent position: palm down, palm and fingers bent towards the inside of the wrist. Elongated position – palm up.

To sleep

Sleeping in your arms, especially if they are bent, increases your risk. Pay attention to the position of your hands when you go to bed.

If you already feel numbness or tingling in your hands at night or when you wake up, buy a wrist strap to wear while you sleep. This will keep the arm in a neutral position and help prevent the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Pose, position of arms and hands.

Keep your shoulders straight and do not move forward when sitting, standing, or walking. The stooped posture stretches the entire arm, wrists, and hands.

Any task you do, including checking your cell phone, should be done with your hands comfortably away from your body, not too close and not too far.

If you find yourself firmly grasping an object, such as a pen or mobile phone, learn how to loosen your grip or change the way you hold the object. Use a larger soft grip and a mobile phone holder or holder.

Any tool should be the right size for your hands, as tools that are too large can cause stress.

Avoid repetitive stress on tasks.

When performing any task or work, pay attention to how you use your hands, especially when you are repeating the same action. Avoid tasks that require bending or twisting your arm for a long time.

If you need to do these movements, gradually increase the time you spend doing them and take frequent breaks. If possible, switch hands while doing tasks.

The risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace manifests itself primarily when working on a conveyor belt in food production, cleaning, and processing.

In addition to changing these tasks to reduce workload, it would be helpful if your employer rotated the jobs that require these actions so that you don't spend a lot of time on the same move.

Location and habits of a computer workstation

There are some typing and computing habits that can put more pressure on your wrists. Changing these practices can reduce your daily workload:

  • Posture and Position : The keyboard and chair should be at a height where your forearms are level when using the keyboard, and make sure your wrists do not bend as you type. Keep the monitor at eye level and support your back. The feet should be straight on the floor (do not sit cross-legged for any time). Place the screen at arm's length from you. Evaluate your workstation and make any possible changes.
  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position: When writing, your wrists should not bend outward toward the little finger or inward toward the thumb. Keep your wrists straight .
  • Don't let your wrists rest: when typing, your hands must move over the keyboard, allowing your fingers to find the keys you want by moving your whole hand. If your wrists are in the same place, you will have to bend your arms to press all the keys. Wrist rests can be confusing because you don't have to rest your wrists while typing. The dolls should serve as a reminder not to place your hands on the edge of a table or table; keep your wrists in the air when writing.

Research hasn't found a strong link between using a computer keyboard or mouse and carpal tunnel syndrome, but you can still take steps to reduce stress.

  • Don't distort: There are certain key combinations that distort your hands and wrists. For example, try pressing Ctrl-Y with only your left hand. Whenever you need to perform a key combination that involves holding down one key and pressing another, use both hands. This may seem odd at first, but it will keep you from turning in odd positions. This also applies when using the Shift key .
  • Change Hand Position Frequently – Turning your hands (knuckles on the table) while paused at the keyboard is a great way to keep your wrists from being in the same position all day. Get into the habit of moving your wrists when you think of the following sentence to write while talking on the phone or reading on the computer.

Exercise and stretching

Stretching and conditioning for tasks that require the use of the hands and wrists are important to prevent injuries and repetitive stress.

If you already have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to your doctor about exercise, as he may or may not recommend it.

Gliding exercises are hand movements to gently slide the nerves and tendons through the wrist canal, such as stretching the wrist underneath.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide to your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

Sequence of stretching the wrist

Stretch the tendons and muscles in your wrists daily. Do this in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the late afternoon.

  1. While standing, keep your hands stretched out in front of you with your fingers extended and your palms facing the floor.
  2. Raise both arms to the standing position (palms facing the wall in front of you), keeping your arms straight. Hold this position for five seconds.
  3. Return your hands to their original position and make a fist. Hold for five seconds.
  4. Rotate your fist down so the back of your hand is facing the wall in front of you so you can see your joints. Hold for five seconds.
  5. Finally, return to the starting position and relax your hands and fingers. Hold for five seconds.
  6. Repeat the series 10 times.

Add about two minutes of stretching for the rest of your body to your program. Relax your shoulders and straighten your back. Move your head from side to side. Stretch your back. You will feel more energetic and have much less stress and pain.

Strengthen your grip: squeeze the soft rubber ball. Hold the squeeze for five seconds. Repeat 15 times.

Yoga: Yoga can help strengthen and prepare the upper body, as well as improve posture and grip strength. It is recommended for people with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome .

Work conditioning: If your job requires performing tasks that involve twisting and bending your arms, especially if you have to perform strong movements or carry a load, it is best to gradually increase the time you spend on these activities. Ask your employer to do conditioning exercises.

Prevent spoilage

If you have a tingling sensation in your hand or finger, numbness, or pain, take steps to prevent the condition from getting worse.

If you've had symptoms that suggest carpal tunnel syndrome for several weeks, it's time to see your doctor.

If symptoms go untreated and progress, you risk permanent muscle and nerve damage.

Frequently asked questions

  • Here are some simple steps you can take:

    • Place the mouse in the optimal position: on the platform directly above the numeric keypad.
    • If you are using an external mouse and keyboard with a laptop, raise the laptop so that the screen is at eye level.
    • Choose a mouse shape that fits comfortably in your hand and doesn't grip too tightly.
    • Keep your wrist in a neutral position and move the mouse by moving your elbow instead of moving your wrist from side to side.
    • Consider a mouse that can be used with both left and right hands so that you can switch hands periodically.

  • This will depend on the cause, but some general tips to stop the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

    • Take regular breaks from activities that require constant use of your hands, such as writing, playing the piano, and playing video games.
    • Wearing a splint to keep your wrist straight, especially at night.
    • Try using a different type of keyboard (for example, a V-shaped split keyboard). ) or a computer mouse. It's generally best to use a flat, symmetrical (rather than curved) mouse, as well as a larger mouse that moves the entire arm, not just the wrist.

  • Often times, pregnant people experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially during the third trimester. These symptoms are usually temporary and are caused by swelling (swelling), which is normal in late pregnancy. To deal with them, try wearing a splint , taking regular breaks from repetitive tasks that cause discomfort, and doing exercises that help stretch and strengthen your forearms, wrists, and hands.

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