Carpal tunnel is a crucial part of our hands and arms, being a narrow passageway for all nine tendons which move our fingers and protect the main nerve of our hands. A condition called carpal tunnel syndrome takes place when the above mentioned nerve gets pinched inside the tunnel, resulting in pain, discomfort, numbness and hand weakness. This condition usually gets worse gradually, since the symptoms evolve in time. Nevertheless, you can stop it from escalating by reacting timely and properly, restoring the functions of your hands and wrists.
How Can You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Basically, you cannot prevent this condition from affecting you completely. Still, by taking care of some of the motions you make and actions you do, you can minimize the chances of ever suffering from this condition.
Firstly, you are advised to lose your grip during your usual activities. We tend to overuse our strength and thereby trigger problems in the long run. Save your fingers, hands and wrists by using pens which are big and equipped with soft grip adapters, be gentle with the keyboard or the cash register etc. Most of us use these items on a daily basis. So, we can make the necessary changes today and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Secondly, never forget to take short breaks during your work. This might involve mere stretching and relaxation. Yet, do it often, between every task of yours, especially if you handle devices which vibrate, like construction tools, for example.
Thirdly, your wrists need to stay relaxed and free from stress. When you are using the keyboard, keep the wrists at your elbow level, or a bit lower, not bending them abnormally, but leaving them relaxed and in a middle position.
Next, improve your posture. Your body position is very important for your health. When we do not sit straight, our shoulders lean forward, as well as our neck, compressing the nerves in the neck area and tightening the tendons. In time, this can reach and affect your wrists, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Thus, be careful and take good care of your posture.
Finally, keep your hands warm and protected from cold. If you work in a cold environment, use gloves or some other types of protection. This condition is more likely to affect you when your hands are cold, so be careful.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If all the above mentioned prevention methods do not prove useful in your case, and you continue experiencing the symptoms of this condition, you are advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Beforehand, you might try taking a break from work and applying cold compresses on your wrists for a week or two. If this fails to help you, pay your doctor a visit.
Some of the possible treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome are wrist splinting, where special splints are worn during nighttime, protecting and relaxing your wrists, anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, which reduce the severity of the symptoms and endoscopic or open surgery.