Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & How to Prevent Them

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that affects the hand and wrist when excess pressure is placed on the median nerve. As your median nerve is compressed through the carpal tunnel from your wrist movements, you can begin to feel numbness or pain while going through everyday activities. Performing the same actions with your hand can increase your risk for carpal tunnel but changing your movement can help prevent the painful condition from forming. Follow these tips at work and at home to reduce your risk.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Every case of a repetitive stress injury is different, and not every symptom may be present each time. Standard symptoms present in your hands, fingers, and wrists. You may feel initial numbness and a “pins and needles” feeling from your palms to your fingertips, as well as swelling in your wrist. Your strength from your hands to your forearms may decrease, and you may begin to feel varying degrees of pain throughout the day and night. This may be caused by the redistribution of fluid as you lay still, especially when laying on your side. Additional symptoms include mishandling smaller objects and repeatedly dropping things due to lack of strength.

How Can I Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are many ways you can be proactive in the prevention of carpal tunnel.

    Wrist Placement. If you are typing on a computer for many hours a day or keeping your wrist in a bent position, make sure you take time to rest. This includes your position while you are sleeping. Do not sleep with your wrists flexed or with excess pressure on them throughout the night, which affects people who sleep on their side or on their stomachs.
    Repetition Is Not Key.RSIs form due to constant repetition. In order to prevent them from forming, you’ll need to change it up. Move your hands and arms in slightly different ways into stop from falling into a pattern. If you have a position that requires a lot of typing, look into using a wrist rest to keep your wrists in a neutral position as you type.
    Build Up Your Muscles.If you are holding your hands and arms in improper positions, building up your muscles can help correct your posture. Performing exercises at your desk can help you stay active throughout the day and build up your arm muscles to reduce the risk of RSI.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatment in Haverhill & North Andover, MA

If you are experiencing pain in your hands and wrists, contact Associates in Orthopedics to set up an appointment to check for carpal tunnel syndrome. Our physicians will be able to develop a series of exercises and treatment options to reduce your pain and improve your posture. Associates in Orthopedics can be reached by calling 978.373.3851