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What Are the Best Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel?

Article Details
  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results in pain, usually in the hands and arms, caused by repeated pressure on nerves. As it is often caused by repeated strains or constant work that requires the use of fine motor skills, taking breaks during and between tasks can help relieve the pressure put on nerves. For those individuals at risk because of working in the same setting for hours at a time, observing ergonomic guidelines can also help release some of the pressure that would otherwise be put on the extremities.

One of the early signs that carpal tunnel syndrome is beginning to develop is a feeling of numbness in the fingertips. There may also be a tingling sensation in the fingers or in the forearm. Recognizing these early signs can allow the individual to take steps to prevent the condition from developing into a full-blown case. Often, this indicates that a stressor is present in everyday life that is putting consistent pressure on the nerves of the wrist. Identifying and relieving these stressors can help avoid carpal tunnel.

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Office settings are one of the most common places to develop the condition. For those who work on a computer all day, taking short, frequent breaks to stretch and put the hands in a more natural position can relieve pressure on the nerves in the wrist and help avoid carpal tunnel. It is also important to properly set up a work station to put the least amount of pressure on the body. A chair positioned at the correct height, along with a mouse, keyboard, and monitor carefully arranged, can allow the body to work while in a natural position.

Those whose work or hobbies require a considerable amount of detail work or use of fine motor skills can also take steps to avoid carpal tunnel. Simply putting down the item being worked on and stretching or flexing the fingers and wrists can help alleviate some of the strain. In some cases, using a wrist brace can help stabilize the joints and force the pressure on the nerve to be released.

Finding the right tools for the job can also help. Items from knitting needles to a computer mouse and keyboard come in different sizes, and finding the right tool to fit the shape and size of individual hands can also help in finding ways to avoid carpal tunnel. Some tools, such as ergonomic keyboards, are designed to help those working with them avoid carpal tunnel.

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