A lot of us have experienced spending hours staring at a screen and typing at our desks. And although we are mostly aware of how this can be mentally draining, we need to be constantly reminded that it has some health risks, too.
Sitting for long hours can really put a toll on your spine. But often, people don’t realize that the back isn’t the only part of the body affected by long hours at a desk. Your hands and wrists could be prone to health risks as well. One such risk you need to be aware of is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions of people worldwide and could even result in carpal tunnel surgery. So, if you’re typing at a desk for hours and hours, it’s best to do some of these exercises to prevent carpal tunnel treatment.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
But first, let’s define carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a passage in your wrist that ends in your hand. When the median nerve—a nerve in your arm that passes through the carpal tunnel—is compressed, the wrist and hand experience weakness, numbness, and tingling. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Both genetics and lifestyle contribute to the possibility of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. In terms of lifestyle, repetitive motions involving the wrist, such as typing, could be considered a cause.
How do you know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome? Well, aside from the symptoms mentioned above, people who have the condition could experience a tingling or itching numbness in the palm and other fingers, trouble holding and gripping objects, and a shock-like feeling in their fingers.
If the condition worsens, you might have a weaker grip strength and experience more pain and cramping in your hands and wrist. Once it gets really bad, you’ll have to undergo carpal tunnel surgery.
Although there is no sure-fire way to prevent getting carpal tunnel syndrome, experts advise doing exercises to lower one’s risk of surgery. These exercises are easy to do, and you should do them a few times a day when working at a desk.
From the name alone, you probably have an idea of how this goes. You simply shake your hands for one minute as if you’re trying to shoo something away. This should be done for every hour, which gives you a reason to take a very brief break at the end of each hour. We know this might look strange at the workplace, but a few strange looks from your coworkers is definitely better than getting surgery.
Spiders Doing Pushups on a Mirror
Put your palms together in a prayer position. Spread young fingers apart, making sure that each finger is touching its counterpart (e.g. right index touching left index, right thumb touching left thumb). Pull your palms apart but make sure the fingertips are still touching. Reset to the original position and repeat. It kind of looks like a spider doing pushups on a mirror and its reflection or an evil mastermind plotting their next scheme.
If you’re looking for a real deep stretch, this exercise will do just that. Extend one arm forward, keeping your elbow straight. Let your hand go limp so that your fingers are pointing to the ground. Using your other hand, pull your hand towards your body. Make sure you apply gentle pressure when doing this. Hold this position for 20 seconds and switch to the other hand. Do two or three sets of this for every hour.
Your lifestyle can significantly affect your health. If your work involves typing for several hours a day, make sure you do these exercises to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Even at work, it’s important to take a few minutes off to stretch, breathe, and just take care of your body and mind.
When it comes to carpal tunnel treatment, you can trust North Florida Hand and Wrist Center. We’ll take the best care of your hands and wrists so you can be relieved of wrist pain. Make an appointment today! We serve patients in Jacksonville, FL.