If you’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome, you quickly realize how wide an impact this problem can have, as pain and discomfort in your wrist and/or hand can make even basic functions difficult.
While there’s much that the team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management can do to remedy carpal tunnel syndrome, there are some steps that you can take on your own to regain comfortable use of your hands.
Carpal tunnel syndrome basics
Your carpal tunnel is a small, one-inch wide space on the underside of your wrist that serves as a passageway for nine flexor tendons as well as your median nerve. This nerve begins in your neck and travels down your arms and into your hands through the carpal tunnel, providing sensation in your hands and fingers (except for your pinkie fingers).
If there’s a narrowing in your small carpal tunnel, usually as a result of swelling in the linings surrounding your flexor tendons, it can pinch your median nerve. When this occurs, carpal tunnel syndrome takes hold, which can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically develops in people who perform repetitive movements with their hands, such as typing at a keyboard, and also develops more in women who are pregnant or people between the ages of 40 and 60.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually doesn’t resolve itself on its own, and can worsen, which is why seeking our help at the first sign of a problem is key.
Managing your carpal tunnel syndrome at home
Once we’ve evaluated your carpal tunnel syndrome, we recommend a treatment plan that may include nerve blocks for the pain, bracing, and platelet-rich plasma therapy to help your nerve and tendon linings to heal.
The steps that you take at home can also play an invaluable role in managing your carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here, we present a few of these steps:
Pay attention to the position of your wrist
In many cases that we see, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by awkward wrist positioning, especially among those who work at keyboards. It’s important to keep your wrists straight while you work, which means placing your keyboard so that there’s a direct line between your elbows to the keyboard, keeping your wrists straight.
Also ensure that your wrist isn’t crooked when you sleep.
Wear a brace
To ensure proper positioning of your wrist, we highly recommend wearing a brace while you work and sleep.
Stretch your wrist
Another great way to manage existing carpal tunnel syndrome and prevent the condition from redeveloping is to incorporate a few wrist stretches into your day.
Before you get to work and start using your wrists, take a few minutes to shake out your wrists, like you’re shaking them dry. You can also extend your arm and place your hand into the “stop” position. Now, take your other hand and pull back the fingers on the outstretched arm, bending them back toward your body.
Another great stretch is to place your hands in a prayer-like position just below your chin. Keeping your palms together, lower your hands down toward your waist and you’ll feel a stretch.
Repeat these exercises several times.
Carpal tunnel syndrome often develops because of repetitive use and overuse of your wrists. We suggest that you take frequent breaks when you’re using your wrists and hands and execute a quick series of the stretches we outline above.
If your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are flaring, apply some ice to your wrist, which will help numb the discomfort and reduce the swelling.
These at-home treatments, combined with the treatments we provide, should remedy your carpal tunnel syndrome very quickly.
For a customized carpal tunnel syndrome treatment plan, please contact us by clicking on the “request appointment” button or by calling one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York.