Exercises to help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There's many causes, but doing stretches and hand exercises may help prevent CTS.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pinching or pressure on the median nerve, the nerve that runs the length of the arm, through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The nerve ends in the hand and controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and all your fingers except the pinky.
If the carpal tunnel swells, you might start to feel numbness, tingling or weakness in your hand. In more than half the cases, both hands are affected.
About 5% of people in the United States have carpal tunnel syndrome. Women are more affected than men, generally in adulthood. About 33% of people may improve without specific treatments.
Keep in mind that carpal tunnel symptoms develop gradually. It might present itself as a little tingling, or minor pain, then increase over time. Don't wait to take measures until the pain is unbearable.
Possible causes of carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetitive wrist and finger work, particularly computer work that involves a lot of typing, is an important risk factor. Repetitive motions you do over and over might cause swelling in the carpal tunnel. Other important factors are obesity and rheumatoid arthritis.
Gamers are also at an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel. Whether it's with a gamepad or mouse and keyboard, gamers are particularly at risk because of the long stretches of time they spend without rest from smashing buttons at high speed.
Stretch before you start working on your computer to prevent CTS
It’s shown that stretches and isometric exercises aid in preventing carpal tunnel. Stretching before you start working or gaming aids in alleviating pressure in the wrist. Perform a little exercise during your coffee, bathroom and water breaks.
Exercise your fingers and wrists often
Taking frequent breaks to “shake it off” can be very beneficial. Now keep in mind that hand and finger exercises are not like gym workouts. Don’t try and stress your hands to reach your pain point. In the case of hand exercises, if it hurts, take a break. Don’t push it. It’s about releasing tension in the wrists and fingers.
Start slow. Enjoy yourself. If your symptoms worsen over time, it’s best you check with your doctor.