How Can you Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

How Can you Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Posted on 12/17/2018

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS as it is sometimes known, is a very common condition that affects a patient’s ability to use their hand and wrist properly. It occurs a part of the body known as the carpal tunnel becomes compressed, most often due to repetitive strain or injury. 

The carpal tunnel itself is a narrow passage in the wrist that is designed to protect the main nerve, called the median nerve, affecting the hand. It also protects the nine tendons that are responsible for moving and flexing the first three fingers. When the carpal tunnel becomes compressed, the nerves are also squeezed, and this can cause a range of symptoms including tingling, numbness and weakness.

While treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is available, it is possible to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place.

What can I do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

If you work or enjoy a recreational activity that puts you at high risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome you will invariably want to take steps to prevent it. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that you can do minimize the chances of suffering from this painful and debilitating condition.

Take regular breaks:

If you are performing a repetitive action with your hands and wrists for hours at a time, you are much more likely to suffer from a repetitive strain injury as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. However, studies have shown that even short breaks can be extremely beneficial in reducing the risk of developing these conditions. Set an alarm to ensure that you take at least a 3-minute break every hour and when you do, stretch and bend your hands and wrists to alleviate any cramping in the muscles and tendons. You can find exercises online that can help, or your doctor will be happy to demonstrate some to you.

Wear a wrist splint:

Many people who perform repetitive hand and wrist movements opt to wear a wrist splint during their usual activities. These are designed to brace your wrist in a neutral position while also reducing stress on the joints, muscles and tendons. It can also be highly beneficial to wear a wrist splint at night when you have no conscious control over the positioning of your hands and wrists.

Use ergonomic aids:

If you work in an office, you will probably already be aware of the range of ergonomic aids that are designed to help keep employees comfortable and minimize the risk of problems such as CTS. Wrist rests for keyboards, mouse pads with wrist supports and ergonomic keyboards are all widely available and been shown to be very successful in reducing instances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Assume the correct posture:

You might not think that the way in which you sit makes any difference to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, this is far from true. When you have poor posture, the nerves in your neck can be compressed by your slouching. When this happens, it can have an effect on your arms, wrists, hands and fingers. By ensuring you are sitting correctly, you can also reduce the likelihood of back pain and subsequent related problems.

Be as healthy as possible:

Being overweight significantly increases the likelihood that you will suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Some health conditions have also been shown to increase your risk of the condition if they are left untreated, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and hypothyroidism. If you can get your weight and any health problems under control, you can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.



If you would like more advice on the best way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, our specialist team of experts would be delighted to assist you. Please contact our Oakland, CA office to schedule a consultation.


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