As more and more people spend their work hours at a desk on a mouse and keyboard, we’re seeing carpal tunnel affect an increasingly large number of people. In fact, carpal tunnel is the most common entrapment neuropathy, affecting approximately 3-6% of adults. The condition’s prevalence has left many asking how to prevent carpal tunnel.
Symptoms are related to compression of the median nerve as the result of daily activities or daily routines that involve repetitive motions (like typing).
The carpal tunnel symptoms include:
- Reduced range of motion
This pain in your wrists and hands can not only be uncomfortable but also prevent you from being able to work on a computer keyboard in the most severe cases.
So how can you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and avoid this potentially debilitating pain? And when do you know it’s time to see a professional for help?
How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel – 5 Methods
There are a number of methods you can use today that will help in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Furthermore, if you’re finding that the pain is debilitating, you can seek out help from a physical therapist or occupational therapist to help relieve symptoms. We’ll elaborate on when it’s time to seek professional help in more detail below, but first, let’s run through the ways to prevent carpal tunnel.
Wear a Splint
Wearing a wrist splint or wrist brace can help you avoid bending your wrist. This in turn will help reduce the swelling of tendons in the carpal tunnel and reduce pressure on the median nerve. Head down to your local drugstore to pick up a brace or splint.
Exercise and Stretching
There is some research that wrist exercises can help reduce the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome. Consult a physical or occupational therapist for more information on which exercises are most effective at preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
During your workday, try and minimize long periods of uninterrupted repetitive hand motions and take frequent breaks to ensure that you’re giving your median nerve a rest. Holding your hand in a neutral position is the best way to give it a much-deserved break.
Change Your Setup
Ergonomic keyboards and standing desks can help keep your wrists straight and alter the way you type, relieving pressure put on your median nerve.
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One option when it comes to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome is to have a corticosteroid injection into the carpal tunnel to help relieve symptoms like inflammation. Naturally, this is a more invasive procedure relative to the ones above and would need the assistance of a trained professional – and it is not without its risks. Still, it has been shown to be effective with some patients.
How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel With the Help of a Physical or Occupational Therapist
While the majority of the above methods for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome are relatively easy to do on your own, you may find that your symptoms persist.
Or if you’re facing severe pain or finding it difficult to move your wrist at all, you should consult an occupational and/or physical therapist.
Not only will they be able to prescribe a number of exercises and stretches that will help alleviate the pain, but they’ll also be able to diagnose and treat the more severe symptoms.
What’s more, a physical therapist will also be able to identify if there are any other issues at play that are making your symptoms worse, so you can treat those root causes as well.
Treating and Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With the Experts at White Pine Health
If you’re finding that your carpal tunnel symptoms aren’t alleviated or at the very least reduced by the above methods, then you need to consult professionals.
The expert healthcare providers at White Pine Health will be able to diagnose any additional issues affecting your median nerve, as well as find ways to reduce pain and restore motion.
We provide a full range of physiotherapy and rehabilitation services in the Brampton area and throughout the GTA. Our priority is building a tailored health journey that is built upon patient-centered treatments. In other words, we never take a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead, work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that works.
White Pine Health also offers virtual physiotherapy sessions, so that you can receive the care you need right from the comfort of your own home. Contact us to book a free 20-minute video session today!