A majority of today’s industries operate electronically and/or via the internet, and that means someone has to be at a keyboard somewhere, keeping things moving. Whether writing emails, managing schedules, creating presentations, or writing content, hundreds of thousands of hands work on keyboards every day. Bad ergonomics are everywhere, and many people suffer the results.
We’ve all heard the dreaded words before: carpal tunnel. If it gets you, you may hardly be able to work, and if things get too bad, surgery might be needed. It’s just something you want to avoid at all costs. However, even though people are aware of carpal tunnel and want to avoid it, they will continue to use bad ergonomics and get themselves in trouble.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is tingling, weakness, numbness, and other issues that show up in your hands because a nerve in your wrist is getting compressed. We’re talking about the median nerve, which provides movement and sensation in your thumb and first three fingers. In order to get from your wrist to your hand, it has to pass through a little space called the carpal tunnel. When the carpal tunnel swells or gets smaller, the nerve gets pinched, and you feel the results in your hand.
- The narrowing of the carpal tunnel can happen because of several different reasons:
- Repetitive wrist motions, especially with your hand lower than your wrist
- Hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis
Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If your job has you tied to a keyboard all day, it is going to be important for you to take good care of your hands and wrists. While giving them breaks is important, you can take it one step further and do some exercises that will give your wrists what they need to keep going strong.
- Hook one hand around the other and use it to pull your hand up and back toward the top of your forearm. Reverse the stretch and pull your hand down toward the underside of your forearm. Be gentle, pulling only until you feel a stretch.
- Do you have a stress ball? It is your hands’ best friend. Take some time to squeeze the ball and give your wrists and hands a chance to get a little stronger.
- Give your whole hand a stretch by spreading your fingers out as far as they can go. Repeat this several times until your hands feel refreshed.
Grab and Release
- Curl your hands down toward the undersides of your wrists and then lift them up and back. Repeat to get the muscles in your forearms nice and warmed up.
- Keep your wrists limber by keeping your hands level with your arms and angling them right and then left.
- When you type or use a mouse, your fingers get caught in a constant half-curl. Without making a fist, curl your fingers in tightly, allowing them to complete the curl. This helps the small tendons and joints that make typing so easy.
- Holding any sort of weight, extend your forearms wrist-up. Curl your hands up, lifting the weight and strengthening the insides of your forearms. Turn your forearms wrist-down and repeat, lifting the weight to strengthen the muscles on the outside of your forearms.
Turn to Progressive Health and Rehab
Because carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by more than bad ergonomics, even a person with the best habits can end up suffering. Whatever the reason for your carpal tunnel syndrome, we are here to help. Learn more about our revolutionary chiropractic care in Gahanna and let us bring you lasting relief today!