People working office jobs for long periods of time often report a tingling, slightly painful feeling in their hands and arms after long periods of consistent typing. This is often a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, a debilitating condition in which a median nerve surrounded by bone and ligaments on the palm side of the hand, known as the carpal tunnel, is compressed, resulting in symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand, wrist, and arm.
The symptoms generally start at a gradual pace, and the most common sign is tingling that can start in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, or ring fingers, that moves up the hand and arm. The direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is unknown, although it is most common in people who have diabetes and who have experienced wrist fractures. However, some activities have been known to increase the likelihood of CTS, including things like excessive keyboard use.
The onset can occur during repetitive, daily activities such as holding a steering wheel, using a cell phone, playing videogames, or typing on a keyboard. With lack of treatment, this numbness can become constant. Many people also report weakness, which may be due to the pinching of the thumb’s muscles, and they can often drop objects out of nowhere.
While the specific cause of carpal tunnel may not be clear, according to Aurora Healthcare, there are certain steps one can take to possibly decrease the chances of developing CTS. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by having a good diet and avoiding smoking can help with blood flow, which may be a contributing factor. Additionally, doctors encourage people not to sleep in positions that cause the wrists to bend or curl for long periods of time; utilizing a
As with most strenuous activities, try to take quick breaks between repetitive behaviors to rest the hands or change their position. Stretching before engaging in those activities can also help loosen the hands and wrists, therefore limiting the chances of swelling or pinching of the median nerve.
For people who work at a computer, ergonomic supplies, such as wrist pads and mouse pads, are vital to maintaining wrist and hand health and contributing to overall good posture.
Further Care and Treatment
If you find that at-home preventative care is failing to bring you relief, it might be time to consider seeking out a specialist to help alleviate and treat your CTS symptoms. Healthpointe has a plethora of doctors at your disposal, like Dr. Emily Perez, who has many areas of specialty, but focuses on hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow surgery.
Get Help with Healthpointe
Healthpointe offers comprehensive evaluations and treatments for all your orthopedic and related needs. To talk to one of our doctors, please schedule an appointment today, or call (888) 824-5580 for more information.