5 Ways to Avoid Carpal Tunnel at Work
Sep 28, 2012 (updated May 6, 2014)
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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very painful condition caused by excessive compression on the primary nerve in the wrist. Overtime many work habits contribute to the development of carpal tunnel. Here are five ways to avoid carpal tunnel at work.
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Wear a wrist splint
Wearing an immobilizing brace such as a wrist splint can be an effective way to reduce pain and excess pressure and reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of the syndrome, a wrist splint can be worn both at night and during the day. If the splint alone isn't reducing swelling, application of a hot or cold compress periodically may help.
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Utilize ergonomic devices
There are many ergonomic office devices that are designed to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by helping you maintain a natural position while working. It is essential that you keep your wrist straight by adjusting your keyboard so that you aren't bending your wrist upwards creating uncomfortable strain over time.
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Use correct posture
You should sit so that your spine is against the back of your chair and your shoulders are relaxed. Also, pay attention to your feet and make sure that they are resting firmly on the floor. Lastly, make sure that your computer monitor and other typing materials are at eye level so that you aren't bending your neck uncomfortably.
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Practice hand and wrist exercises
Isometric stretching exercises can improve overall muscle wellness including increased strength and blood circuclation in the wrists, fingers, hands, forearms, neck, and shoulders. There are many exercises to try, and practicing these simple routines for 4-5 minutes every hour while at work can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome significantly.
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Take frequent breaks
Take frequent 3-minute mini breaks to reduce strain and discomfort. For example, shakeout your hands and feet, stretch and flex your back, take some long deep breaths, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Not only do these little breaks feel good, but they also have lasting effects on your joint and limb health.