Is it possible to prevent carpal tunnel issues?

It can difficult to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if you keep doing the same things with your hands day in and day out. And yet, some people who endure repetitive motions all the time still never develop the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Knowing what causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, thus, seems key to discovering what might prevent the onset of symptoms. Sometimes we have a good understanding of what causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but sometimes we don’t.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not uncommon. In fact, it’s one of the single most common hand ailments in the United States. But it’s not necessarily the most well understood of hand ailments. In part that’s because the hands themselves are pretty complicated. There are so many moving pieces beneath the skin! All to get your little fingers to move in just the right way.

How Can You Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The primary question that most people have regarding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is pretty simple: Can you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The answer to that question is, well, tricky. That’s because, at least in part, the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be difficult to pin down. Sure, there’s the most commonly cited cause: repetitive motion. But that connection might not be as simple as we once suspected. That means that preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become suddenly more difficult. With modern technology, though, we use our hands far more often than we ever used to. Which means that a few tips on how to keep your hands in good health–and possible avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome–just may be of use. That said, if you’re experiencing any symptoms or have in the past, contact a medical professional. This article is intended for entertainment purposes only.

Exercising Your Hands

There are some lines of thinking that go like this: a strong set of hands are more difficult to injure than a weak set of hands. And it sort of makes sense, depending on how you define “strong.” Sometimes it’s much more important to be flexible than it is to be strong. Will having significant hand strength help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Well, maybe, I suppose. It’s not entirely clear. Physical therapists and medical professionals have developed some hand stretches, however, that are designed to accomplish just that:

  • Wrist Flexor Stretch: For this stretch, you’ll want to extend your wrist out in front of you with your palm facing up.Then, bend your wrist so that your hand is pointing towards the floor. Use your other hand to gently pull your stretched hand towards your body (very, very gently–you don’t want to hurt yourself). Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat two to four times.
  • Prayer Stretch: This stretch is pretty simple. You’ll start with your hands pressed together just under your chin (think of a prayer pose or the “namaste” pose when doing yoga). Keeping your hands pressed together, slowly move your hands down your torso until you feel a stretching sensation in your wrists. Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat two to four time.
  • Wrist Extensor Stretch: The wrist extensor stretch is essentially the same as the wrist flexor stretch, except you begin with your palm facing up instead of down.

Whether these stretches will prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your particular case is difficult to tell. Stretches such as these may diminish the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but they could easily be offset by repetitive motions.

What Does Motion Have to do With it?

The common wisdom has always been that repetitive motions are one of the primary causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In the world of research, however, that link has been difficult to conclusively prove. There are just so many variables and you use your hands for so many things. Still, adhering to the classical wisdom is, sometimes, better than nothing. That’s why advice websites will often offer these tips:

  • When using your hands, take frequent breaks in order to let your hands recover a bit. It never hurts to do a few hand stretches during these breaks as well.
  • Ensure that when you’re using your hands you’re doing so in the most ergonomic way possible. What this means exactly will depend on the activity (typing vs. the use of hand tools, for example), so you might have to do a bit of your own research here.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused, in part, by inflammation. So doing what you can to keep your body’s inflammation levels down (by eating a proper diet, for example) might also be to your benefit.

Make Sure You Talk with a Doctor

If you have concerns about managing your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms or if you’re worried about developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the future, you really should talk to a doctor or medical professional. A highly qualified hand surgeon or hand doctor will be able to provide you with individualized insight into your situation and how to keep your hands healthy. Whether you can avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or not will ultimately be up to you and your doctor.

References

  • “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Symptoms and Treatment – OrthoInfo – AAOS.” Frozen Shoulder – Adhesive Capsulitis – OrthoInfo – AAOS, orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/.
  • Zelman, David. “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome#1.
  • “The Most Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Brownmed, 15 June 2017, www.brownmed.com/blog/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/the-most-common-causes-of-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/.

“>Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is pretty simple: Can you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The answer to that question is, well, tricky.

That’s because, at least in part, the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be difficult to pin down. Sure, there’s the most commonly cited cause: repetitive motion. But that connection might not be as simple as we once suspected. That means that preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become suddenly more difficult. With modern technology, though, we use our hands far more often than we ever used to. Which means that a few tips on how to keep your hands in good health–and possible avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome–just may be of use. That said, if you’re experiencing any symptoms or have in the past, contact a medical professional. This article is intended for entertainment purposes only.

Exercising Your Hands

There are some lines of thinking that go like this: a strong set of hands are more difficult to injure than a weak set of hands. And it sort of makes sense, depending on how you define “strong.” Sometimes it’s much more important to be flexible than it is to be strong.

Will having significant hand strength help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Well, maybe, I suppose. It’s not entirely clear. Physical therapists and medical professionals have developed some hand stretches, however, that are designed to accomplish just that:

  • Wrist Flexor Stretch: For this stretch, you’ll want to extend your wrist out in front of you with your palm facing up.Then, bend your wrist so that your hand is pointing towards the floor. Use your other hand to gently pull your stretched hand towards your body (very, very gently–you don’t want to hurt yourself). Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat two to four times.
  • Prayer Stretch: This stretch is pretty simple. You’ll start with your hands pressed together just under your chin (think of a prayer pose or the “namaste” pose when doing yoga). Keeping your hands pressed together, slowly move your hands down your torso until you feel a stretching sensation in your wrists. Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat two to four time.
  • Wrist Extensor Stretch: The wrist extensor stretch is essentially the same as the wrist flexor stretch, except you begin with your palm facing up instead of down.

Whether these stretches will prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your particular case is difficult to tell. Stretches such as these may diminish the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but they could easily be offset by repetitive motions.

What Does Motion Have to do With it?

The common wisdom has always been that repetitive motions are one of the primary causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In the world of research, however, that link has been difficult to conclusively prove. There are just so many variables and you use your hands for so many things. Still, adhering to the classical wisdom is, sometimes, better than nothing.

That’s why advice websites will often offer these tips:

  • When using your hands, take frequent breaks in order to let your hands recover a bit. It never hurts to do a few hand stretches during these breaks as well.
  • Ensure that when you’re using your hands you’re doing so in the most ergonomic way possible. What this means exactly will depend on the activity (typing vs. the use of hand tools, for example), so you might have to do a bit of your own research here.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused, in part, by inflammation. So doing what you can to keep your body’s inflammation levels down (by eating a proper diet, for example) might also be to your benefit.

Make Sure You Talk with a Doctor

If you have concerns about managing your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms or if you’re worried about developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the future, you really should talk to a doctor or medical professional. A highly qualified hand surgeon or hand doctor will be able to provide you with individualized insight into your situation and how to keep your hands healthy. Whether you can avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or not will ultimately be up to you and your doctor.

References

  • “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Symptoms and Treatment – OrthoInfo – AAOS.” Frozen Shoulder – Adhesive Capsulitis – OrthoInfo – AAOS, orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/.
  • Zelman, David. “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome#1.
  • “The Most Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Brownmed, 15 June 2017, www.brownmed.com/blog/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/the-most-common-causes-of-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/.

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