Tips on Preventing Carpal Tunnel

In the past, carpal tunnel syndrome is believed to be caused mainly by overworked hands and wrists while typing away in front of the computer or laptop. Although this is true, it is no longer the only cause believed to predispose carpal tunnel syndrome. Nevertheless, it is never bad timing to determine various tips on carpal tunnel prevention as early as now. After all, carpal tunnel syndrome has become a common neuropathic condition in the 21st century. In fact, one in every twenty average person is believed to be afflicted by the condition while the percentage is a tad bit higher for workers who are exposed to jobs that involve recurring motions of the hands and wrists.

Carpal tunnel syndrome was first coined in the year 1939 although the syndrome has been long described in numerous 19th century medical literatures. Although Sir James Paget was the first to state about the compression of the median nerve at the wrist in a case of distal radius fracture in the year 1854, Dr. George S. Phalen, a physician in Cleveland Clinic, was the first one who was able to recognize the pathology of the syndrome. He was able to draw his conclusions by working with carpal tunnel syndrome patients in the year 1950s and 1960s.

Today, Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered to be the aftermath of an irritated or compressed median nerve. The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel, which is a tight space wedged between a band of fibrous tissue enclosing the wrist and the joint bone. When several medical conditions cause the carpal tunnel to change in position or become swollen, the median nerve becomes pinched or irritated, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Typically, symptoms include a slight tingling sensation and numbness along the palms of the hands and the fingers, usually the thumb, the index finger and the ring finger. The carpal tunnel syndrome sufferer will experience pain shooting from the hand towards the arm, the shoulders and the neck. The sufferer may also complain of muscle weakness along the affected area and atrophied muscles, although these symptoms are increasingly associated with more progressive carpal tunnel syndrome cases.

There are numerous illnesses believed to trigger the onset of symptoms in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. These medical conditions include obesity, pregnancy, acromegaly, rheumatoid arthritis, excessive use of growth hormones, estrogen and steroids, injury or trauma, diabetes mellitus, multiple myeloma, lipoma and leukemia. There are also some rare diseases that are known to cause carpal tunnel syndrome including Charcot Marie-Tooth, Double Crush Syndrome and Parvovirus B19 infections.

If you have any of these conditions or if you merely work all day and all night in front of the computer, it is important to know some information on carpal tunnel prevention just so you can prevent acquiring it. For one thing, it is important to take short breaks when you're working in front of the computer. It may be as short as fifteen minutes or as long as thirty minutes. For as long as you're away from the computer, stretch your fingers, hands and wrists, go for a walk, eat a snack or drink water. Stretching is important to as to increase the circulation on your hands and wrist. It is also a great way to prevent injury before resuming to work. Another good carpal tunnel prevention tip is to visit your doctor right away if you ever experience even the slightest numbing or tingling sensation on the palms of your hands, your fingers or your wrist. As they say, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Furthermore, if you're already suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, it's always better to treat it early in the syndrome before progresses into more serious symptoms. If you're working on the computer, it's best to avoid wearing watches, wristbands and bracelets that constrict your wrist as it may also impede the circulation in that area. Also, avoid using power tools that vibrates as they can also alter the position of the carpal tunnel. Forceful movement should also be avoided.

When your hands and wrists feel puffy and swollen after a day of working, shake them so as to increase the circulation along those areas. You can also apply cold compress to reduce the swelling and discomfort.

The most effective way to prevent carpal tunnel is to address its cause firsthand, if it can be intervened. For instance, if you are obese, it is better to lose weight so as to prevent being afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have diabetes mellitus, you need to stick to our doctor's recommendations to the t. There is still no foolproof way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome but hopefully, these tips can help you. Just remember that carpal tunnel prevention is not only found in tips and reading materials, it can also be found in your own self-discipline.