Take a look around you at the cubicles at work. You see your co-workers
wrenching their wrists in pain. Sitting down at your desk, you look at the
computer, and it sends shivers down your arm and into your spine because you
know the pain and discomfort that is guaranteed to come from typing away at
the computer. Like most people who deal with computers all day long,
you may be experiencing the beginning of
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The Carpal Tunnel is located on the palm side of the wrist, where the wrist
meets the hand. It is a tunnel with ligaments for a roof and bones for the
floor and walls. The space between (the tunnel) is where the nerves,
tendons and blood vessels pass through. When there is a condition that
compresses that flow, such as typing, the Carpal Tunnel narrows, not
allowing nerves to flow as freely.
When structures in the carpal tunnel compress (push against) the median
nerve, it causes pain and other symptoms. The most common cause is
repetitive hand movement, such as working at a computer keyboard.
Here are a few tips on how to prevent this from causing serious damage to
you further on down the road:
Following these simple exercises is easy, quick and can be done at
your desk. Your co-workers may look at you strange, but while they
are leaving work rubbing their wrists, you¡¯ll be waving good-bye pain
free and healthy.
- Try moving your mouse to different sides of your keyboard throughout the
day. Switching mouse positions can prevent overworking muscles in your
hands and arms.
- Posture is extremely important. We have a tendency to slouch when
sitting at our desks while in front of the computer, because we forget
about what position our body is in. Sitting with your back, neck and
shoulders straight can help to prevent permanent nerve damage.
- Get up and stretch as much as possible. Reaching for your
toes helps to stretch out the lower back and keeps your body in balance.
Try locking your hands above your head and stretching towards the sky.
This works your shoulders and arms, and takes much of the strain off of
your lower back. You don¡¯t even have to get up for this one.
- Make a tight fist and bend your wrist in a downward motion.
Use your free hand to extend the stretch. The looser you muscles are,
the more flexibility you will have.
- Extend your arm straight in front of you. Rotate it clockwise, then
counter clockwise. Repeat this ten times, then switch and try it with
your other arm.
To read more about Carpal Tunel Syndrome and similar conditions,