Although the jury is out on exactly what behaviors can be definitively linked to carpal tunnel syndrome, there’s no denying that many men and women experience a flare-up of symptoms during the workday. Before considering more advanced carpal tunnel treatment, you might want to try following these tips to minimize discomfort while you work.
1. Check Your Desk Ergonomics
Heavy computer use as a culprit of carpal tunnel remains one of the most persistent myths about carpal tunnel syndrome. In reality, there’s still no clinical evidence connecting your computer with carpal tunnel. At the same time, most experts agree that symptoms likely manifest as a result of cumulative damage, which is most often due to repetitive use. Check the ergonomics of your desk setup to ensure that you’re reducing strain on all your joints, including your wrists.
2. Take Plenty of Breaks
Any type of repetitive strain injury means you need to take more rests so your body has the recovery time it needs to heal. Every hour or so, take a minute to stand up and shake out your hands and wrists to relieve the pressure on the median nerve that’s responsible for causing the numbness, tingling and pain that are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Invest in Support
Ask your doctor for a recommendation on using a splint during the day (or while you sleep) to help prevent nerve compression in your wrist. Generic versions are available at your local drugstore, and some surgeons provide custom fabricated splints that, while pricey, are still a lot less expensive than hand surgery and can bring a lot of pain relief.