Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist and causes tingling and numbness. Because many factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, there is no single sure method of prevention. Still, taking just a few proactive steps can help you ward off uncomfortable symptoms in the workplace. Here is how you can prevent the pain and tingling caused by CTS.
Adjust Your Chair
The best way to prevent CTS is to adjust your work area so that you can perform tasks in a way that puts less stress on your hands and wrists. If you work at a computer, adjust the height of your chair so that your forearms are level with the keyboard. Be sure to sit with your back straight, and you won’t have to flex your wrists when you type, easing the pressure on the delicate median nerve.
Pad Your Wrists
You might consider investing in a low-cost pad to run along the length of the bottom of your keyboard. This padding will prop up the heels of your palms and keep your forearms, wrists, and hands in a single straight line to prevent pinching of the median nerve. If your hand becomes irritated, try purchasing a mouse pad with extra cushioning for your wrist.
Stretch Your Wrists
Be sure to take regular breaks from typing and using the mouse by shaking out your wrists and doing occasional wrist stretches. A good plan is to take multiple “microbreaks” of about three minutes each to reduce strain and discomfort without decreasing productivity. When you take a break, be sure that you stretch all your limbs, take deep breaths, and squeeze your shoulder blades together for maximum relaxation.
Whether you are suffering from symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or require other orthopedic services , the team of orthopedic surgeons at Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine is here to help. Call (866) 650-8063 to set up an appointment today.