Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is considered as the fastest growing occupational illness in the country. This condition starts with minor problems in a particular nerve in the wrist. Those who have a family member with this disorder are more likely to suffer from CTS as well. In addition, according to studies, women are more vulnerable to developing carpal tunnel syndrome than men. Teenagers and the elderly are also at a higher risk.
CTS is also associated with performing certain tasks, such as:
- Repetitive hand motions
- Strong gripping
- Mechanical stress on the person’s palm
- Wrong hand positions
Those who work long hours on a computer, or those who work as a hairdresser or cashier are the most common individuals whose work-related tasks involve repetitive hand movements which can result in CTS.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Closer Look
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a tingling or pain in your hand which results from the pressure on your median nerve in your wrist. You have to understand that the carpal tunnel is located in a space in your wrist which is surrounded by bones and ligament. The flexing tendons of your fingers and thumb, as well as the median nerve pass through the small tunnel. The median nerve is the one who controls the movement and feeling of your first three fingers and your thumb. If there is constant pressure on the median nerve, it will result in carpal tunnel syndrome. The pressure usually comes from swelling or anything that causes the carpal tunnel to become smaller.
The symptoms of CTS usually develop slowly over the years. If you experience constant, persistent, or recurring pain, tingling, or numbness of your hand, you should immediately consult a doctor. The symptoms you should watch out for include:
- Pain in your wrist and palm. You might even experience a burning sensation in your fingers.
- Difficulty gripping or making a fist. You have the tendency to drop things.
- Over time, the hand may start to feel numb. In worst cases, you will be unable to feel heat or cold.
- You might feel like your hands are swollen although there is no visible sign of inflammation.
In cases where CTS is work-related, the symptoms may first occur outside of work. In fact, you might experience the symptoms at night when it is time to go to bed. Keep in mind that if the disorder is work-related, you have the right to claim damages.
Hand And Wrist Exercise To Prevent CTS
Tip No. 1:
- Make a loose fist on your right hand. Your hand should be palm up, and use your left hand to press down gently against your clenched hand.
- Your right hand should resist the force for at least five seconds.
- Keep your writes straight during this procedure.
- Turn your right fist palm down. Press your knuckles against your left palm for another five seconds.
- After this, you should turn your right palm so that your thumb side is up, and press it down again for another 5 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise with your left hand.
Tip No. 2:
- You should hold your second and third fingers up while keeping the other fingers closed.
- Make five clockwise circles in the air while the two fingers are up.
- After that, you should draw five more counterclockwise circles
- Repeat the process with your left hand.
Tip No. 3:
- Make a tight fist in your right hand
- Release, and fan out your fingers
- Repeat this exercise five times in your right hand then do the same with your left.
Tip No. 4:
- You can exercise your thumb by bending it against the palm underneath your little finger. Hold that position for five seconds.
- Spread your fingers apart, turn your palm up and hold for another five seconds.
- Repeat this exercise five to ten times with each hand.
Kris Bennette is a workout instructor and blogger. In this article, she lists a few hand and wrist exercises which are very helpful in preventing the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.