18% of workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome leave their jobs in 18 months.
According to PubMed, over 5 million U.S. workers were affected by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in 2010. WebMD defines carpal tunnel syndrome as when the median nerve is pinched or compressed in your wrist which results in numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the hand. Doing any work that puts a lot of strain on your hands or wrists could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be preventable if you are intentional and take action before symptoms occur. Here are some ways to prevent carpal tunnel:
- Be gentle
In our work routines sometimes we are not aware of how much force we use in our daily tasks. Be intentional about performing tasks more gently. Rather than slamming your fingers on the keyboard try typing more gently or having a looser grip on your work tools.
- Try wrist exercises
Wrist exercises can help stretch out important areas in your wrist that cause carpal tunnel syndrome once irritated. Here are a few that you can try out with example pictures:
- Spider push-up is when you place your hands together in a prayer position and spread your fingers as far apart as possible in a triangle position keeping your fingers together.
- The shake is the same motion you use to dry out your after you wash them.
- Stretch Armstrong is when one arm is outstretched with your palm to the floor and you use your other hand to gently push your palm facing the floor downward.
- Watch your posture
Bad posture can affect all areas of your body including your wrist. Be mindful of your posture throughout your work day and make sure your work area is set up for you to have good posture. The key is to keep your hands and wrists aligned with your forearms.
- Switch your work tools
Work tools such as a split keyboard or a vertical mouse help keep your hand in the handshake position and can greatly prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. It may take a little time to get used to since these aren’t traditional office supplies but it’s worth the investment.
- Keep your hands warm
Cold hands and wrists make pain and stiffness worse. Be intentional about keeping your hands and wrists warm. If you have pain in your wrists, wear adhesive heating pads. If it’s cold in the office because of the air conditioner, wear fingerless gloves or use heat warmers for your hands.
These are only a few helpful tips to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you already have carpal tunnel syndrome or you feel like you have the symptoms consult your doctor or physical therapist for further treatment. You may also like: Helpful Ways to Improve Your Posture and Understanding the 4 Most Common Musculoskeletal Disorders.
At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. From our outstanding services to our convenient electronic systems, we provide the best care for employees who need our help. We pride ourselves on helping others. If you happen to get injured on the job or contract any illnesses, just stop by one of our clinics. Feel free to contact Nova Medical Centers with any questions or comments that you may have.