5 Tips to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Pain
The pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be debilitating, especially when it affects your ability to make a living.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be the result of a number of issues, but repetitive hand movements are the main cause. The strain of these movements causes the tendon that runs through our wrist to become aggravated and swollen. This swollen tendon presses against the median nerve that runs through our wrists carpal tunnel, causing pain and numbness.
In the past, the majority of carpal tunnel cases have been the result of assembly line and office work. But some experts warn that the rise in mobile device use will make carpal tunnel more common in other demographics.
A recent study of college students in Hong Kong concluded, “the excessive use of electronic devices may be linked to a greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome,” That study explained that cell phones and tablets put our hands in positions that weaken the tendons in our wrists.
This means that the current total of 4-10 million Americans affected by carpal tunnel could begin to rise. If you are one of those affected, try these 5 tips to help reduce the pain and prevent further damage.
Use Correct Form
Changing the way you hold your hands while working is an easy way to reduce carpal tunnel pain. When we bend our wrists for long periods of time, it’s easy for their tendons to swell and create painful pressure.
Keeping your wrist in a neutral position – as straight possible – reduces this pressure. Good overall posture is also a great way to help maintain this position. Keeping your back straight will make you less likely to hunch forward, which lowers your forearms and bends your wrists. Read here for why good posture is so important.
Another way to accomplish this is to use ergonomic friendly office tools, like a a keyboard, mouse, and standing desk. If you work in a corporate office environment, speak to your manager or HR about requesting these devices – most companies understand and will find room in the budget to provide them.
Adjust your Workspace
Designing your workspace to promote proper form is one of the most effective ways to reduce carpal tunnel pain.
You can do this by using an ergonomic keyboard or mouse, or by adjusting your chair and desk height. Experts at Cornell recommend keeping your forearms parallel to the floor while sitting.
If you work in a corporate office environment, speak to your manager or HR about requesting these devices – most companies understand and will find room in the budget to provide them.
If you use tools jackhammers or sanders, be sure to wear gloves with vibration-absorbing padding.
A few minutes of preparation can prevent hours of unnecessary wrist pressure. Experts say that just a 10% increase in the bend of a wrist can double the pressure on your wrist.
Wear a Wrist Splint
We can do our best to keep our wrists straight during the day, but once we’re asleep, they tend to bend out of position. Splints keep our wrists in a neutral position while we sleep, decreasing pressure on the median nerve.
You can wear splints during the day if your job allows for it, but you shouldn’t consider them a long-term solution. Regular extension and flexion are necessary to keep your wrists healthy.
Rest (and Massage) Your Hands Throughout the Day
Take frequent breaks throughout the day to give your wrists a rest from the positions that are causing your carpal tunnel pain. This allows your tendons to relax, and reduces the extra damage that comes from long, uninterrupted pressure.
Try putting your phone away during your commute, or using a hands-free headset to make calls. If you aren’t able to take a complete break, try switching hands for some tasks.
A great way to double the benefits of those breaks is to use them to stretch those tight wrists. Long periods of strain on our wrists cause the median nerve to become compressed, limiting the blood flow it needs. Stretching loosens the tight muscles in our wrist, and increases this important blood flow.
Any general stretching of the wrist and arms can be beneficial, but most experts recommend “Tendon Gliding”. This is a specific stretching routine designed for reducing the pressure that causes carpal tunnel pain. Click the link to learn more about this technique.
Relief is Possible!
Carpal tunnel pain might seem like something you can deal with, but over time it can result in permanent nerve damage. Following these tips can go a long way in reducing the pain and avoiding more extreme measures, like surgery.
If you still don’t think you have the time to adopt these tips, consider the consequences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, carpal tunnel keeps workers off the job for an average of 31 days per incident.
In addition to the above tips, there are also efforts you can take to treat carpal tunnel pain. One all-natural way to treat the pain and discomfort is with a topical CBD ointment. Nuvamed’s Natural Healing Balm and Relief Roller are two perfect solutions. Click here to find out how CBD can reduce carpal tunnel pain.
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