The Internet Brought Many Advances – Including More Carpal Tunnel Cases

Along with the Internet, came bad posture, poor keyboarding techniques and the inevitable Carpal Tunnel cases. Many people are under the mistaken impression that they have to live with the pain and when you work in a job that requires constant movement of the hands over a keyboard or other repetitious movement of the hands and arms such as assembly line work (which once upon a time accounted for a huge number of carpal tunnel cases).

How Do You Know It’s Carpal Tunnel?

The condition doesn’t exactly have a calling card but it makes itself known just the same.

The earliest symptoms are numbness, tingling, dropping objects due to a problem with grasping and weakness; all of which become pain with movement of this area of the body. The disease typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often much worse at night to the point of affecting sleep. A major nerve, specifically the median nerve, travels down the arm and enters the hand through the carpal tunnel, which is located in the central part of the wrist. In people with carpal tunnel syndrome, pressure in the carpal tunnel is higher than in unaffected people, and median nerve irritation occurs. Additionally, individuals that have suffered a broken wrist in the past can be at risk for developing this syndrome.

Individuals that use computer keyboards are especially at risk, whether it’s for playing World of Warcraft, writing that long-worked-on novel or it’s part of your job to work on a computer all day; how you sit and hold your hands while doing these activities will contribute greatly to whether or not Carpal Tunnel will be part of your future.

Home Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

*Supporting the affected area with a wrist brace is a great helper for many sufferers.
*Cold therapy on the affected area several times a day will relieve the pain, a wrist/arm wrap that can be held in place is ideal.
*Explore ergonomic keyboards that give your wrist and forearms a place to rest while typing.
*If your job requires repetitious movements, ask for help in finding a way to do your position without causing additional injury.
*Stretch your hands before repetitious activities and take frequent breaks to stretch your hands and arms to help the muscles work in other directions.

Carpal Tunnel isn’t life threatening and it’s rarely an emergency, however it can be very painful and it will affect your ability to work, drive, and do any task that requires using your hands if you don’t start managing your symptoms as early as you suspect you may have developed this condition. If you don’t address Carpal Tunnel early on, the arm and hand may be damaged to the point surgery may be your only option.

If you do feel you have this disease, get it diagnosed by a medical professional and start early pain management with ice and you’ll soon have your Carpal Tunnel under control.