Everyday Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you experience tingling, numbness, or shooting pain in your wrists, you may be struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome. Arguably today’s most common nerve disorder, it affects an estimated 4-10 million people in the United States. Thankfully, you don’t have to attempt to grin and bear carpal tunnel symptoms. 

Dr. Arien Smith of Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey, provides innovative solutions to relieve carpal tunnel pain and restore function in your hands and wrists. While you can’t always stop carpal tunnel from developing, you can take steps to lower your risk of flare ups. Read on to learn about a few smart steps.

Take breaks and stretch

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when excess pressure is placed on the median nerve, which runs through the passageway in your wrist. When you use your hands and wrists for hours on end, this pressure increases. If you do manual activities, such as driving, texting or holding your phone to your ear, or typing for extended periods of time, take frequent breaks to let your wrists rest. Meanwhile, shake your hands out, do wrist circles, or stretch your arms.

Consider ergonomics

Ergonomic devices, such as keyboards and computer stands, are designed to reduce stress, strain, and pressure on your joints and ligaments during use. A small study showed that using an ergonomic keyboard for 12 weeks reduced wrist pain in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic computer mouse may lower your risk for hand pain.

Keep your hands and wrists warm

While an ice pack may help reduce carpal tunnel pain once it arises, keeping your hands and wrists warm during colder months and environments may help lower your risk of a flare up. This is because cold conditions can make way for stiffness. Wear warm clothing, including gloves, when you’re outdoors in the cold and consider fingerless gloves while typing in a cold office space. Engaging in cardiovascular exercise daily or in short amounts throughout a day can also help keep you warm while protecting you from obesity, which is a carpal tunnel syndrome risk factor.

Do yoga regularly

Performed well and routinely, yoga can help reduce carpal tunnel pain and increase your grip strength. An effective yoga practice may also improve blood circulation, relieve compression in the area, and improve your joint posture, all of which can help guard against or minimize carpal tunnel syndrome pain. For best results, work with a qualified professional or seek out yoga specifically designed for joint pain prevention and relief.

To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome or get started with treatment, which may involve pain relieving oral or injected medications or a wrist brace, call Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey or use our online tool to schedule an appointment.

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