Carpal tunnel is a common syndrome that can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand or fingers. It’s particularly prevalent in workers who must repeatedly flex the wrist.
Once carpal tunnel develops, it can be difficult to cure without surgery. So, it’s in your best interest to prevent it before symptoms appear. Read on for tips to avoid carpal tunnel, even if your profession puts you at risk!
Which Professions Can Cause Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops as a result of pressure on the median nerve, which passes through the carpal tunnel (a narrow passageway that extends through the forearm and wrist to the hand). So, professions that involve repetitively flexing the wrist can cause carpal tunnel. Examples include:
- Chefs, bartenders, and food preparation workers
- Factory workers
- Construction workers
- Telephone operators
- Office workers who repetitively use a computer mouse
How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel
Workers can reduce their risk of developing carpal tunnel with the following tips:
- Take regular breaks: Taking a short (10 to 15-minute) break every hour can help limit pressure on the median nerve.
- Soften your touch: Applying less force with hand and wrist movements or using a softer grip can curb nerve compression in the wrist.
- Keep your wrist in a neutral position: Whenever possible (including while you sleep!), try to keep your wrist in a neutral position to alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
- Focus on your posture: Poor posture while you work can cause tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, which may exacerbate wrist pain.
- Stretch your hands: Stretching your hands and wrists throughout the day can reduce tension and pressure.
- Vary your wrist motions: Try to make slight changes in your hand and wrist movements to prevent repetition, which contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you’re struggling with carpal tunnel symptoms, schedule an appointment at Hernando Orthopaedic for a professional evaluation.