Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder in which the median nerve along the wrist and the forearm becomes compressed. While symptoms vary, this pressure can cause immense pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and lower arms. With help from a chiropractor, many with this condition find relief. Still, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so use the five carpal tunnel prevention tips below to protect yourself.
5 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention Tips
1. Adjust Your Sleep Position
People who sleep on their wrists – such as by sleeping on their side with one arm folded underneath their head – or hold their hands in an engaged position may wake with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, such as pain and stiffness. To avoid this issue, adopt a sleep position that allows your hands and arms to remain relaxed. If that’s not possible, sleep with a wrist brace that will minimize stress to the carpal tunnel region.
2. Optimize Your Desk
Typing and using a mouse incorrectly can place unnecessary stress on the median nerve. If you work at a desk, adjust your workspace. Find a chair that allows you to maintain proper posture to support the natural curve of your spine, keep your head straight, and allow your arms to rest as you work. Keyboard support pads may also be helpful.
3. Stretch Often
Fixed positioning and repetitive motions place stress on the wrist and can contribute to nerve compression. For this reason, it’s important to stretch out your hands regularly throughout the day, especially if you’re engaged in repetitive tasks, such as typing or manual labor. Every hour, take at least five to ten minutes to flex your wrists and wiggle your fingers.
4. Ease Your Grip
Many people unintentionally hold objects harder than necessary. If you catch yourself holding kitchen tools, phones, pens, remotes, or other items with a tight grip, see if you can ease up just a bit. You can also strengthen your arm muscles and improve wrist mobility by performing exercises with dumbbells, kettlebells, or hand strengtheners.
5. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Chiropractors encourage patients to make healthier life choices as a way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Quitting smoking, for instance, can help improve your circulation and improve nerve function within the wrist. Maintaining a healthy weight will also help reduce additional pressure on the nerves, allowing you to avoid painful symptoms.
If you’re afflicted by carpal tunnel or any other form of chronic pain and immobility, Back to Health Chiropractic is here to help you find relief. Serving clients in the Florence, KY community, these chiropractors will gently identify the source of your pain and provide customized solutions to promote healing, such as postural correction and adjustment. To learn more about their chronic pain treatments, visit this clinic online. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with a friendly chiropractor, call (859) 746-2222.