How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if You Type for Work

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if You Type for Work

Do your hands, fingers, or wrists ache at the end of a long session on the computer? Is it getting difficult to hold a coffee cup? You may be experiencing numbness or tingling that’s worse at night. These are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicineour board-certified orthopedic surgeons treat many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many of the cases stem from computer use. Your carpal tunnel syndrome may be the result of incorrect computer posture or equipment and furniture that don’t have ergonomic features. 

Medical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

Most cases of carpal tunnel are treated conservatively with rest, medication, a splint, and/or physical therapy/stretching and exercise. 

If you’re in severe distress when you come for your appointment, your doctor can administer a steroid injection to calm the inflammation while you heal. In rare cases, they may perform nerve release surgery to lessen the pressure on the nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in your wrist.

Strategies that help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome 

Following are four important strategies that can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you spend extensive time working on a computer. 

Use correct posture 

You’ll ease stress on your neck, back, shoulder, and arm, as well as your hand muscles, if you try these pointers on computer posture. 

Do you tend to hunch forward over the computer when you’re working, leaving your neck extended out in front of your head? You’re placing great strain on your neck and back. Instead, your body should form a straight line from your head to your pelvis. 

You should be looking directly at your monitor. Your head shouldn’t be tilted up or down. 

Take a look at the position of your arms and hands when you’re sitting at your computer. Where are they? Your arms should be at or just below a 90-degree angle, and your wrists should extend straight to the keyboard; they shouldn’t be lifted up or pulled down. 

A standing position places less stress on your spine. You may want to think about a convertible desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing. If you stand while working, you should maintain correct head, hand, and arm posture. 

Use ergonomic equipment and furniture 

Do your hands, fingers, and/or wrists ache when you’ve been working at the computer for a while? A standard keyboard doesn’t place your hands in the correct ergonomic posture. 

Try using a curved or split keyboard. Once you get used to it, you’ll feel the difference. Make aching hands and wrists a thing of the past. 

Be sure you use an ergonomic chair. Even if your chair has back support, you may need one or two extra pillows so you sit up straight while your back is supported. 

Take breaks 

Sitting for too long places excess stress on your neck and back muscles and can lead to cervical and back pain. It also decreases circulation in your legs. 

Get up from your chair. Take frequent breaks to help restore circulation in your body. 

Perform gentle stretching exercises for your wrists 

Gentle exercises can strengthen your wrist muscles and relieve the stress on your hands when working long hours on the computer. During your breaks, squeeze a stress ball several times.

Slowly rotate your wrists one way and then the other. Stretch out all of your fingers at the same time. Interlace your fingers and push your hands out with your palms facing away from you. 

For all of your orthopedic needs, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, or Collierville, Tennessee, or book an appointment online today.

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