Get Writing Again: 10 Tips for Relief from Carpal Tunnel
Ah, the bane of writers everywhere: carpal tunnel! There’s nothing worse than wrist pain. It limits our ability to perform the simplest activities like cooking or gardening...not to mention typing. Plus, did you know that women are three times more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) than men? Boston physical therapist Holly Herman offers the following 10 tips for relief and prevention of CTS:
Move only your fingers when typing and keep your wrists straight.
Your computer should be at eye level to avoid bending your neck.
Stretch your hands and wrists by spreading your fingers wide and then ball them up into a fist every 30 minutes when typing. Repeat five times.
Rotate your wrists five times in one direction, then five times in the other direction. These exercises will keep your hands and wrists flexible and decrease the chances of acquiring CTS.
Slicing and dicing in the kitchen can put too much strain on the wrist; wear your brace to add extra support.
Take frequent breaks from activities that require repetitive motion. Rest, stretch, change positions, or alternate with another activity.
Use a wrist brace like Wellgate's Wrist Support at night, when playing sports or exercising to keep the wrist in a neutral position and allow it to rest.
A wrist brace should fit well so that you are not fighting against it to move. For every 15 degrees that the wrist is bent forward or back, extra pressure is placed on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. A wrist brace is recommended for carpal tunnel because it holds the wrist and eases the pressure in a neutral position (straight, not bent forward or back) giving the nerve the most room in the tunnel.
Most people tend to sleep with their wrists bent forward causing numbness and tingling associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that can wake us up at night. Wearing a brace when sleeping can help prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel caused by the wrist being in a bent forward position.
Holding the phone all day can cause undue stress on the wrist. Switch to a headset or wear your brace to help prevent CTS and alleviate neck and upper back pain.