What is it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered an inflammatory disorder caused by repetitive stress, physical injury, or a medical condition. People can experience re-occurring pain or dull ache in the wrist and forearm, weakness in the hand, and tingling or numb fingers. This injury is considered chronic and can take months or years to develop. Over time, the Carpal Canal/Tunnel starts to narrow and restrict the nerve there due to inflammation and friction. This causes the strange nerve type symptoms and pain that goes with the Syndrome.
Muscle tension and joint misalignment can cause inflammation. So it makes sense to do all we can to prevent this inflammation from happening in the first place. By doing simple stretches throughout your day, you can decrease the tension in your hands that can lead to inflammation. Many people have no pain in their hands or fingers and do not realize how tight they are. Without being aware of this inflexibility and tension, inflammation can sneak in. In most cases, the tension is built up over years and years and the symptoms don’t appear until middle age. But prevention is worth a pound of cure! Here are some tips and stretches to do while you are at your desk to keep your hands young and pain free!
- Work on your posture. Did you know that the position of your wrist is effected by your spine and shoulder girdle strength? Good spinal posture actually makes a difference on your hands! Try not to let your shoulders round forward when you are at the desk, and shift your face back away from the screen to align your earlobes with your shoulders.
- Elbows Down Keep your elbows pointed down towards the floor when you are typing or double clicking. This helps keep your shoulders in a good position.
5. Self Massage (not pictured) Pinch the web of skin between your index finger and thumb. This is a great place to massage. Explore other sore areas of your hand and work your way up your forearm. Massage helps blood flow into muscles that are not going through their full range of motion. Do this once a day if you can.
6. Hand and Wrist Stretch Start with your palms facing the ceiling. Now put your fingertips on the edge or surface of your desk and continue to push your palms away from you. Keep your elbows bent towards the floor. Another way to do this is with your palm pointed towards the floor like in the second picture. You should begin to feel a stretch in your fingers, palms, insides of your wrists and forearms. 30-60 seconds, 3x a day.