Tips for carpal tunnel prevention & self-management
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), “there is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when swelling in this tunnel puts pressure on the nerve.” Carpal tunnel syndrome is essentially a pinched nerve in the hand that is subjected to high amounts of pressure — thus resulting in a lack of mobility as well as causing pain for the patient suffering from CTS.
This pressure build up can occur as a result of a joint dislocation or dislocations,a fracture or fractures, arthritis, fluid build-up during pregnancy or swelling of the flexor tendons (called tenosynovitis). Although these are the most common causes, ultimately, there can be multiple other causes as well.
Prevention is Key.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following self-management tips for prevention as well as some lifestyle and home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome by minimizing stress on your hands, fingers and wrists with the following tips:
- Reduce your force and relax your grip. If your work involves a cash register or keyboard, ensure you’re hitting the keys softly each time. If you’re handwriting for a prolonged amount of time, choose a pen with a larger base, free-flowing ink and a soft grip adapter over a smaller pen or one without a grip.
- Take frequent breaks. Make time to be able to stretch and bend your wrists and hands every so often. Additionally, alternate tasks whenever possible to relieve strain and pressure.
- Watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. Keep your keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower.
- Improve your posture. Incorrect posture rolls shoulders forward, which shortens your neck and shoulder muscles and compresses the nerves in your neck. Thus affecting your wrists, fingers and hands.
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain reliever to help relieve any discomfort you may have.
Of course, if after you’ve tried the tips above and are still experiencing a lack of mobility as well as continuing pain, it’s definitely time to seek medical attention from a qualified orthopedist, such as any of the orthopedic specialists who call Orthopedic Specialists of Dallas home.
What If I Already Have Carpal Tunnel?
If you have found yourself suffering from the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, the qualified specialists in addition to our incredible staff at Orthopedic Specialists of Dallas are here to help. We can provide you with a treatment plan involving various stretching and strengthening exercises to help improve mobility as well as reducing pain in the affected area. We will also provide you with our professional tips to help avoid an additional carpal tunnel injury later on down the line.
Please reach out to us by calling (972) 771–8111 to schedule your consultation appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists so we’re able to assist you in getting on the road to recovery in no time!