Image © Andrew / Creative Commons.
Turns out that to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll probably need to change some deeply-ingrained habits.
Work posture, for one thing. Getting carpal tunnel syndrome may force you to change the way you type, for example, or wear a splint on your wrist while you work, on doctor’s orders.
There’s good reason for this advice: the doctor wants to keep your hand from assuming the posture it normally does. Which eases the pressure on the median nerve, the source of all your carpal tunnel troubles. The same posture day after day, on the other hand, can stress the tendons in your carpal tunnel to the point of affecting the median nerve – leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.
When someone has carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve is pressured by ligaments and tendons in the carpal tunnel in your wrist, which sometimes get swollen from abuse to the hands. Pressure on the median nerve can make your hand hurt, or numb the sensation in the affected hand.
So, to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to prevent your affected hand from assuming a posture that increases the pressure.
That means wearing the aforementioned splints to prevent carpal tunnel. But you don’t have to go that far. It may be a simple as avoiding a downward bent position for your wrists. Or not resting your wrists on hard surfaces – soft wrist rests for both keyboards and mice are now de rigueur for keyboard jockeys in the office.
Regular typists may also benefit from a seating posture that keeps forearms level with the keyboard; this minimizes the flexing your wrists need to do while typing.
Resting the wrist may also be necessary: this means regular breaks for your wrists, or switching the dominant hand used for a certain task.
These simple fixes can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from ever taking hold of your wrists. Nobody said carpal tunnel syndrome was hard to overcome!
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