Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome At Work

Sitting down at a computer or other repetitive-type office jobs might be boring but they can also be downright painful if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when you put continued pressure on a nerve in the wrist that controls motor function in the thumb. You’ll likely notice it from numbness, pain, and tingling in your wrist, hand, and fingers.

Here are some tips to hopefully help avoid ever experiencing carpal tunnel:

  • Keep it moving. Keep your muscles engaged by doing basic exercises and stretches from time to time. Specifically, shake out and stretch your wrists. Yoga has been thought to reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel.
  • Embrace ergonomics. If you work at a desk, make sure your computer is positioned directly in front of you. Keep your chair height so your forearms will be level with the keyboard. Try using an ergonomic mousepad, keyboard, and/or keyboard pad. These pads help to prop your hands up to keep your palms, fingers, and wrists in a healthier position. Ergonomic keyboards help you to maintain a more natural wrist position while typing. They even make vertical mouses, that help to point your thumb upward while you work.
  • Give yourself a break. If you’re doing a repetitive task, make sure you’re taking plenty of breaks to give your wrist a rest. If you have flexibility in your tasks, try to rotate these throughout the day so you’re not constantly in the same position. If you don’t have that type of flexibility, taking breaks and rotating which hand you use might help.
  • Similar to ergonomics, it’s important to have proper posture. Slouching doesn’t just affect your back, your whole body can be thrown off by this. Keep your wrists as straight as possible. Try to use tools, workstations, and tool handles that will keep your wrists in line.
  • If you’ve had carpal tunnel before or know you’re at risk, try wearing a splint to help keep your wrists straight. This extra precaution will likely be worth it in the long run.

If you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, don’t worry we can help! Call us at (707) 544-3400 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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