Having a desk job is relatively safer and less risky than working as a police officer, a soldier, or, given the pandemic in the past couple of years, working in the medical field.
Still, if there’s one thing that office workers are at risk of, it is developing carpal tunnel syndrome – a painful condition that could affect your wrist and hand.
If you work all day (or all night) in front of your computer, you’d want to read this post as we share what you need to know about carpal tunnel and how you can prevent it:
How and Why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Happens
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a medical condition in which the median nerve in your wrist gets compressed. It can cause a tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in your wrists, hands, and forearms. These symptoms are usually caused by repetitive wrist and hand motions. Carpal tunnel is usually caused by genetic susceptibility and obesity, but it can also be linked to sleep deprivation, stress, and poor posture.
According to studies, roughly 1% of the population will suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) every year. CTS is a known occupational disease affecting individuals who work with their hands or who use computers or other devices that require repetitive wrist movements.
Are You at Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Because of Your Job?
The risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome is highest in people who perform the same tasks repeatedly at their job. While more ‘active’ tasks like farming and doing construction work put you at risk, you might be surprised to learn that tapping away at your keyboard for long hours also increases your risk.
If your job requires constant and repetitive movement of your hands or wrists or if your arm is in an awkward position when you’re doing your job, then it’s likely that you’ll suffer from CTS
How Can You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Develop Better Posture
Improving your posture is a great way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you slouch and hunch over your keyboard while working, this can put stress on your wrists and cause them to bend inwards. Look for ways to adjust your workstation or your posture so that you’re sitting or standing straight up.
If you’re stuck in one position for too long, it can cause irritation and pain. If you have to use the computer, take regular breaks and stretch your muscles. Do a few arm circles, stretch your hands and fingers, and gently shake your arms.
Wear the Right Gear
If you’re wearing clothes that are too tight, then this can lead to swelling and pain. Wear clothes that are loose, and make sure they aren’t too tight around your wrists.
Spending long hours in front of your computer can make your arms and hands stiff. If you do not take regular breaks to stretch, you can cause your muscles to cramp or get ‘tight’ and become resistant to recovery. You can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by taking short breaks throughout the day to stretch. Move your hands and arms gently and comfortably in different directions as you stretch.
As you get older, your body’s ability to recover from stress, strain, and injury can decrease. Be mindful of how much you’re putting yourself under and pace yourself as you go. The older you are, the better you will be at maintaining good hand and wrist posture.
Hopefully, we have provided you with the information that you can use to determine if you’re at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and how you can prevent it from happening to you. IF you are already suffering from it, it’s recommended that you seek carpal tunnel syndrome treatment from a specialist as soon as possible to keep the problem from progressing.
North Florida Hand and Wrist offers carpal tunnel syndrome treatment as well as other services from a trusted hand specialist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!