Carpal tunnel is one of the worst things that can happen to our bodies while we’re at work. Whether you are typing, working at a desk, or doing anything with your hands, that cramping feeling you get is one of the most uncomfortable and annoying sensations. Try these five tips to prevent carpal tunnel while you’re on the job!
Posture is Key
Usually when we think of the effects of carpal tunnel, we assume that it is caused by stress and tension in the wrists or the fingers. However, most carpal tunnel symptoms are caused by stress and pressure in the upper neck, where the spine first starts. This is due to active nerve endings there, which can affect the feeling in your wrists and fingers. Be sure to always sit up straight, so that your shoulders are rolled back instead of over the front.
Make Sure Your Hands are Warm
When you are typing or performing any type of movement with your hands, stiffening and cramping will occur most of the time if your hands are cold. However, many of us work in frigid office environments or outside when it’s cold out. Keeping your hands warm will help to prevent pain and stiffness. If you can’t control the weather or the temperature in your building, be sure to bring an extra pair of thin gloves to the office. This will allow you to type or do other handwork without getting any discomfort.
Take Frequent Breaks
This one is the simplest, yet most effective, ways to avoid the symptoms of carpal tunnel. It is best to take frequent breaks from repetitive finger motions so that your hands don’t get too tired doing the same movement. Try and take breaks from typing at least once every hour for a couple of minutes. Go for a walk or do so light stretching. If you can and are able to, try to stretch your back while stretching your hands. This will improve not only your finger muscles, but also your posture.
Add Some Stretches Into Your Daily Routine
Stretches can help your fingers to relax and also get stronger. The two best stretches for hands are the spider stretch and the shake. Both of these stretches are incredibly easy, but they are also very effective. The spider stretch is when you touch the tips of your fingers together while pushing up and down. The action should look like a slow motion high five. This stretch will really help move the blood around the joints. The second stretch is the shake, which is exactly what it sounds like. Simply shake your hands around like you are trying to air-dry them. This will stretch out the flexor muscles of your hands.
Stop Typing or Holding Things So Hard
This tip is all about prevention. Whether you are typing intensely or too hard, or if you are firmly gripping onto tools, you are unconsciously inviting some type of carpal tunnel symptoms. So quit it! Loosen up your grip if you are beginning to feel some tension, and practice the above four methods of getting rid of carpal tunnel.