Most people believe that Carpal Tunnel Symptoms happen to people who are on their computers for a long period or those who do heavy typing. But the fact is that carpal tunnel can happen to anyone who performs some kind of repetitive movement. CTS is quite common, and many people undergo surgery since most people realize they have CTS only once it has become severe. While it is impossible to prevent CTS completely, there are certain precautions that physio Central Coast recommends that you can take to reduce the amount of pressure you put on your hands and wrists.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and What are Its Symptoms?
The Carpal tunnel is located on your palm side of the wrist. It is made of bones, tendons, and ligaments. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the nerves running through the carpal tunnel are squeezed or pressed due to swollen tendons on the wrist.
Certain repetitive movements of your hand or arthritis can cause the tendons to swell up, and once it happens, you will start to feel the symptoms of CTS which include tingling in your hand, shock-like feeling in your long fingers, index finger, and thumb. When the CTS becomes severe, you will be able to feel an unusual sensation and pain up your arm towards your shoulders. Usually, the symptoms start slowly.
What Can You Do to Prevent CTS?
Here are the top 5 ways you can reduce the risk of developing CTS –
- Avoid Repetition – Wherever possible, do not try to make repetitive movements for too long. Instead, you can mix up activities or use alternate hands to give your other hand a break. Avoid holding an object in the same way for too long.
- Take Breaks – If you have to perform repetitive activities on a daily basis, it is critical to take short breaks as often as you can. Remember to set the alarm on your phone, so you do not forget.
- Stretch throughout the Day – During the breaks, do stretching exercises. There are plenty of simple stretch exercises you can perform while sitting on your desk. One of the best stretch exercises for your wrist is making a fist and then releasing your fingers and stretching them as far as you can. Repeat this exercise about ten times.
- Wear a Wrist Brace – If you have to perform repetitive tasks, wear a wrist brace to help keep the wrist straight and relieve stress. Many people also wear the brace while sleeping as they bend their wrists while sleeping. When removing the brace, move your wrist naturally to help maintain its flexibility.
- Loosen Your Grip – Whether it is typing on your computer or holding a pen, chances are you put too much pressure on your hands to get a sound grip. Instead, loosen your grip and hold objects loosely to improve body mechanics when working.
If your doctor has confirmed CTS and your symptoms are moderate, the first step would be to opt for nonsurgical treatments for relief. A professional physio Central Coast can guide you through some exercises for your wrist and hand as studies show that motion exercise can prevent the progression of CTS to severe.