Before we can look at preventive measures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we need a basic understanding of what Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or CTS is. The Carpel Tunnel is the passage in the wrist created by bones on three sides and ligament on the fourth. Through this tiny space, nine tendons pass, as well as the median nerve. It stands to reason that any inflammation of any sort in the carpal tunnel will cause the median nerve to be compressed. The median nerve goes on to the thumb, forefinger middle finger and ring finger. This is the reason for the burning, tingling feelings and for the numbness and the pain.
So the first thing to do to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to avoid causing any kind of strain to your wrist. This is easier said than done, though. Most jobs now require people to sit in front of a computer for hours on end. Manual labour, too, has become easier with power tools. These power tools vibrate, though, and this vibration is very hard on the wrist. If you have no choice but to strain your wrist in your line of work, there are certain things you can do to minimize your risk.
- The best thing you can do is make sure you take adequate breaks. A break every twenty minutes or so can do wonders. This is especially important if you have any tingling or pins and needles sensation in your palm, because these are the first signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fix your posture. This has been talked about so many times that it has become quite stale. A good posture seems to be the one-shot remedy for so many things that it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if somebody said that it could fix a broken neck, too. But the fact remains that good posture is essential in preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Ensuring that your wrist does not bend too much for too long, keeping your forearms parallel to the floor while typing and therefore not applying too much pressure all help prevent the onset and/or aggravation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Keep your wrist warm. You can’t always control the temperature you work in, but you can make sure that you keep your wrist warm with a fingerless glove. This can also act as a support for your wrist, making sure that you don’t bend it too much.
- If you have trouble with hypothyroidism, diabetes or have had some sort of injury in your wrist that might have causes inflammation in the area or tendonitis, you will be more susceptible to CTS. Treating these causes before the onset of CTS is important.
- Don’t stay in one position for too long, whether you are standing or sitting. Walk around, do a few stretches, roll your shoulder, loosen up – do whatever works for you.
Even if you feel that you might have CTS, your best chance to get rid of it for good is if it is diagnosed early enough to give you as many options as possible.