If sitting at a computer for long periods at a time is causing you to have pain in your wrist, then you need to find out how to minimize your risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. When the nerve is compressed, it causes pain. This pain can shoot up from your wrist, move up your arm, and can make it painful for you to continue working.
Symptomsin the beginning may not seem as much, but the pain can become very severe. Some of the symptoms you may notice in carpal tunnel syndrome include:
1. Numbness and Tingling in your hands and fingers. You will notice most of this on your thumb and first three fingers.
2. Pain that moves from your wrist, up your arm and also into your fingers (not your pinky finger).
3. A feeling of weakness in your hands. You will feel like you are dropping stuff all of the time.
4. Sometimes you may feel a burning sensation in your wrist. This pain can become so excruciating, you might not be able to continue working.
Some common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders, menopause, and fluid retention in pregnancy. Repetitive motions or injuries can cause problems. The carpal tunnel in your wrist may just be really narrow, making it easier to compress the median nerve in your wrist.
Follow these tips to help minimize your riskof carpal tunnel syndrome:
1. Grasp an object with your whole hand including your fingers
2. Use tools to help move objects.
3. Bend your elbows.
4. Adjust your computer monitor to a correct level
5. Use the armrest on your chairs to help eliminate flexing your wrists.
6. Keep your wrist straight when using the keyboard.
7. Take a break if you feel pain or you are tired.
8. Shake your hands often.
9. Minimize the use of vibrating hand tools.
10. Avoid assembly line work.
Some people are more at risk than others for getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Females are three times more likely than a male to acquire carpal tunnel syndrome (this is according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.) Heredity can play a big role in you getting carpal tunnel syndrome, if a family member has it, your chance increases. Certain health conditions can also put you at risk, so try to stay healthy.
If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, then you can try this simple test called Phalen, to help verify your symptoms. Begin by holding the back of your hands together and point your fingers straight down toward the floor. Your wrist should be at a 90-degree angle. Your elbows should be pointing towards your sides. Hold this position for approximately one minute to see if you feel any symptoms. If you feel pain, numbness or tingling, then there is a good chance you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
(Do not rely on the above test for a definitive diagnosis. See your doctor for more testing.)
If you find that you are not able to cope with the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome, then see your doctor for more testing. Your doctor will be able to suggest other methods to help you through this painful time.