Carpal tunnel is caused by repetitive hand or wrist motions and affects the median nerve in the wrist and can lead to numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand or arm. There are many things that you can do that can help prevent carpal tunnel while you are at work or home. Proper posture and keeping your wrists straight are very important, yet a quick and easy ways to prevent carpal tunnel. Below are other tips you can use to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.
- Your forearms should be level with the keyboard and you should not have to flex in order to type.
- Hold your hands and wrists at a 90 degree angle with your forearm – If you work at a keyboard, you may have to tilt it to help keep the alignment.
- Keep elbows close to your side and don’t let your hands, wrists, or elbows rest on any surface while working.
- Use a pad across the front of the keyboard, this will help cushion and elevate your wrist and reduce the strain that is usually put on them.
- The way you may be sitting can cause a strain on your wrist – Make sure your chair is adjusted to the correct height
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time – Take breaks every 10 to 15 minutes to stretch and rotate your wrists.
- If the task only requires the use of one hand for repetitive motion try and switch hands – Using both hands will help reduce the strain you are putting on them.
- Avoid gripping things (such as a tool or mouse) too tightly – Many people tend to grip pens and other equipment tighter than necessary which can cause the muscles to strain.
Arm and wrist muscle stretches are an easy way to prevent carpel tunnel. Below are a few easy exercises you can do at your desk to help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of you with your palms facing forward – Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers. They should by pointing in front of you but not stiff. Then make a fist with both hands, bend both wrist down so your knuckles are facing the floor – Hold this position for five seconds.
- Let your arms hang loosely at your side. Shake them for a few seconds – Repeat this ten times.