How to Prevent Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

person using MacBook Pro

Use an Ergonomic Chair, Mouse and Keyboard

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome inflames the tendons at the point where the wrist meets the hands. Computer users are at particular risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to the prolonged posture of their arm muscles in a way that causes stress to the body. Here are some tips on how to avoid carpal tunnel while sitting, typing and using the mouse:

Use Ergonomic Furniture and Equipment

Using an ergonomic chair, mouse and keyboard are essential to preventing carpal tunnel. An ergonomic chair should have adjustable height for the arms to rest upon the desk or keyboard. Use an ergonomic keyboard that is optimal for typing depending on the user’s typing skills. An ergonomic mouse will be one that fits neatly in the hand and whose buttons can be reached easily without having to over extend fingers. The buttons should be easy to press and should not require any forced or uncomfortable movement.

Carpal Tunnel Wrist Protection

Hands should always be elevated while typing so that wrists do not touch any surface. Use wrist rests (also called wrist pads and wrist supports) on keyboards. Wrist rests can be bought as stand alone pieces or a keyboard with a built-in wrist rest can be used. When resting hands in between typing sessions, place wrists on the wrist rest of the keyboard. Do not use the wrist rest while typing!

Alternatively, wear wrist splints or casts. If there is any kind of pain or pressure in the hand, wrist, arm or shoulder, use a preventive wrist spilt made out of breathable cotton. Wrist splints usually come in small, medium or large sizes so be sure to find the correct fit.

Use mouse pads along with wrist rests. There are many variations of such a mouse pad. Experiment with one that feels and fits right.

Carpal Tunnel Exercises for the Arm, Hand, Wrist and Fingers

Practice clenching and releasing the fists. This action will stimulate hands, fingers and arms. Simulate “spirit fingers”—an expression developed by cheerleaders and dancers which involves moving the fingers quickly with palms open. The action serves to loosen tension knots and relaxes fingers.

Crisscross the fingers of both hands and extend intertwined fingers out with palms facing away from the body. This will stretch the entire arm. Make circular movements in clockwise and anti clockwise direction with shoulders to get the circulation going in this part of the body.

Switch hands often between tasks as and when possible. This will give parts of the body a rest while giving all parts an equal workout.

Carpal Tunnel Pain – Pay Attention!

Pain is a carpal tunnel symptom – pay attention to any recurring pain in the arm and do not treat it lightly. This pain can travel all the way up to the shoulder and neck and may become severe enough to require surgery. In extreme cases loss of motor function in the hand can occur, so take this pain seriously. Stop the activity causing the pain, even if it means giving up a job, changing jobs or learning to be ambidextrous.

If treated in time, carpal tunnel can be prevented from causing permanent harm. Early detection and early measures of avoidance are key factors in eliminating carpal tunnel pain.