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Five tips for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome

December 5th, 2020
how to prevent carpal tunnel

When you think of wrist pain, one of the first phrases that comes to mind is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain in the wrists. It’s especially common among those who use a computer for work, but it can affect anyone who uses their hands and wrists in repetitive activities.

Five tips for how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome

Repetitive activities involving the hands and wrists place strain on the tendons and ligaments in your wrists. On the underside of your wrist is the carpal tunnel, which contains and protects the median nerve that runs from your arm into your hands. Strain on the tendons and ligaments in your wrists increases pressure on the carpal tunnel. This irritates the nerves and leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Reducing strain on your wrists is key in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. While there is no guarantee that you will be completely safe from carpal tunnel syndrome, following the tips below can help reduce your chances of developing it:

  1. Work on your posture — Poor posture is one of the leading causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many people use a computer for work or playing games. When using a keyboard, you need to avoid bending your wrists. Use a relaxed, middle position to avoid straining your wrists. Keep the keyboard at elbow height to help.
  2. Use ergonomic equipment — If you work with your hands frequently, try using more ergonomic equipment. For example, you can get an ergonomic mouse or keyboard if you work at a desk for hours at a time. Ergonomic equipment can help reduce strain on your hands and wrists.
  3. Give yourself a break — If you use your hands and wrists for hours at a time for work, make sure you take some breaks. Take at least one break every hour for about 10 minutes. Stretch your hands and wrists. Move around and get your blood flowing.
  4. Quit smoking — Smoking can interfere with your blood flow and make wrist pain worse. Quitting smoking helps improve your blood flow, which allows your wrists and other parts of your body to get access to more nutrients and oxygen.
  5. Improve your diet — A poor diet can contribute to the development of inflammation in your wrists. Maintain a healthy diet that is rich in lean protein, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats. Avoid saturated fats, sugars and processed grains that make inflammation worse.

Visit Rehab Access for wrist pain treatment

Do you use your hands frequently for work at a computer, using heavy machinery or operating a vehicle? Your wrists are vulnerable to chronic pain related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Working with a physical therapist to help manage and prevent carpal tunnel pain can help you avoid needing surgery as a corrective measure. Contact our team today for more information about how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or to schedule an initial appointment.