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HOW TO PREVENT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME IN THE WORKPLACE?



People who have jobs that make them do repetitive hand movements regularly are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). If left unchecked, repetitive hand movements can lead to sore muscles, and eventually damage the median nerve.

Your median nerve is located in a narrow tube called the carpal tunnel that connects your palm, fingers, and wrist. Another factor that causes carpal tunnel syndrome is inflammation of the median nerve. It occurs due to injuries, repetitive muscle strains (RSIs), or a generally high level of inflammation.



Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very painful condition that causes a lot of discomfort. Weakness, tingling, and burning sensation in one or both hands are other symptoms of CTS.


You may not be able to quit or avoid jobs that increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. But there are some things you can do in the workplace to prevent this condition.


In this article, you will discover some general ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. You will also learn about some exercises and other measures you can take in the office to prevent any issue that might lead to CTS.


Can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?

Currently, there is no strong scientific evidence that shows that there is a surefire way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. However, some things that you can do to reduce strain on your hands and lessen your likely hood of developing CTS include:


Be gentle with your hands.

Most times at work, you learn a certain skill, and then you just do it the same way every time. What you might not notice is that without even thinking about it, you have been applying more force than needed. If you write a lot on your computer, you might still be hitting the keyboard instead of using a gentle touch. Technology has come a long way, and most keyboards nowadays are very sensitive. So, you don’t need much force to use the computer. For some people, it might be that you always grab your work tools too tight. You are properly not doing this intentionally, but you have to break the habit in order to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.


Try stretching

When you are working in the office, and you notice some tension in your hands or wrist, you should take a break and stretch. While stretching the whole body is great, you need to do some hand and wrist exercises to loosen the tension in that area. It does not have to be a long workout; you can stretch for about ten to fifteen minutes. You can even do it at your desk, and no one will notice it. Stretching helps to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by promoting blood flow and relaxing the tissues, which aids in the healing of the muscles in the hands and wrist. If you don’t want to do hand exercises, you can use hand strengtheners like a stress ball hand. They are an effective and easy way to stretch your hands without much stress.


Practice proper posture

Bad posture is not just about the position of your hands and wrist. The posture of the rest of your body also matters when it comes to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, people with poor posture tend to push their heads and shoulders forward. As a result, the muscles of the neck and shoulders are shortened, which affects the nerves in your neck and worsens wrist strain. To prevent this, you should always make sure that when you are at your desk, your head, neck, and shoulders are aligned correctly. You should also ensure that your computer is at your eye level when sited.


What daily exercise you can do to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

Exercising regularly is good for your mind and body. However, to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to focus on stretching your hands and wrists. There are lots of hand exercises that you can do, and some of them include:


Grab and rotate

This workout is easy to do and it is very effective for stretching the hand and wrist muscles. To begin, you should stretch out your hands in front of you. Then make a tight fist as if you want to punch something. Gently move your hands in a circular motion. You should rotate both hands clockwise and counterclockwise. Continue for about one to two minutes, then rest for a minute. Repeat for ten to twelve sets a day.


Finger stretch

To do this exercise, you should place one hand in front of you with your palm open, facing down. Next, use your other hand to grab the tip of your fingers and pull backward. Hold this position for about thirty seconds, then do the stretch on the other hand. Repeat three to five times and relax your hands.


What helps carpal tunnel in the office?

If you notice some symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome at the office, one thing you can do to ease your pain fast is to take medications. You should take an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen. It will help to lessen your pain temporarily. If your symptoms are mild, you can use hand strengtheners to ease your muscle tension. One popular option is the stress ball hand. It is easy to squeeze, and it distracts you from the pain, which will make you feel better.


How can you make the workstation ergonomics avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

Workstation ergonomics involves redesigning your space, such as your desk, chairs, and computers, to align with your body’s stature while you work. This practice is not a new concept, but it has gained a lot of popularity over the years due to the rise of office-related stress. Workplace ergonomics is very beneficial for your health because it helps you position your hands in a natural posture. As a result, you avoid strain on your hands and wrist caused by repetitive movements, which reduces your risk of having carpal tunnel syndrome.

Conclusion

There is a lot we do not know about carpal tunnel syndrome. But one thing is for sure, doing jobs that require a lot of repetitive movement increases your likelihood of developing this illness. You may not be able to completely avoid such tasks at the office, but you can use less force at work, stretch your hands, and position your body correctly while working. By doing these things, you lessen the pressure on your hands and wrist muscles, which will help you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.

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