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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS) has been a popular term to describe one of the most common health issues often experienced by office workers and other related jobs with similar nature. This can be painful and uncomfortable, thus, leading to poor performance and decreased quality of work. There are various ways on how we can alleviate or prevent CTS effects such as using an ergonomic mouse and refraining from doing repetitive tasks for long hours.
WebMD defines Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as the following:
“Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on your median nerve. This nerve gives you feeling in your thumb and all your fingers except your pinky. When the median nerve goes through your wrist, it passes through a narrow path -- the carpal tunnel -- that’s made of bone and ligament. If you get any swelling in your wrist, this tunnel gets squeezed and pinches your median nerve, which causes your symptoms.”
The same article also mentioned that it is very important to take a break especially if the job requires repetitive tasks. If the nature of your job is similar to typing, writing, or working on crafts, then you can be at risk of acquiring CTS. Using tools that produce vibration can also contribute to having this condition.
According to Healthline.com, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is mainly due to the excess pressure in the wrist as well as on the median nerve.
“The pain in your carpal tunnel is due to excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. Inflammation can cause swelling. The most common cause of this inflammation is an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist, and sometimes obstructed blood flow”, Healthline added.
There are also certain health conditions that are linked to CTS, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases, trauma on the wrists, and fluid retention.
The common symptoms of CTS are pain and burning sensation that can go up the arm, tingling, numbness, pain in the thumb, wrist pain at night, and weakness of grip.
For further knowledge, the following workers have the highest risk of acquiring CTS:
- Electricians and power line crews
- Cooks and chefs
- Highway and construction workers
- Housekeeping personnel
- Typists and encoders
- Graphic artists
According to WebMD, it is crucial that you start slow and easy when it comes to doing exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In one of its published posts, it listed some helpful exercises that you can try to find some relief. Included in the list are the following:
#1 Fist to Fan
This is an easy yet effective exercise. First, you need to make a fist. Then, fan your fingers out and have them stretched as much as you could. Make sure to do this five to ten times.
#2 Do some basic stretches for your wrists
To do this, you need to sit at a table. Then, comfortably put your arm and elbow on the table. Allow your wrist to hand on the side with the palms of your hands facing up. Begin with your hand in a neutral and straight position. Then, bend your hand forward to make sure that your fingers are pointing up to the direction of the ceiling. Hold the position for five seconds.
Go back to the neutral position. This time, bend your hands away from you to let your fingers point down to the floor. Hold for five seconds. Then, return again to your straight and neutral position. Do this ten times. Repeat this stretch exercise thrice a day.
You can check more Carpal Tunnel exercises from WebMD here.
Some other ergonomic exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include the following:
Shaking it Out
An effective way to stimulate blood flow and ease stiff joints is by shaking out your hands and wrists. To do this, start with your hands stretched forward while your palms are facing the floor. Then, shake your hands slowly by limping your wrists. Do this for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this exercise three times.
This exercise aids in increasing coordination in the forefingers and thumb. This also helps in reinforcing blood flow. How to do this? Hold your hands outwards. Make sure your palms are facing the ceiling. Then, using your right hand, carefully bring your thumb and let it touch the tip of every finger. Do the same step with your left hand. Go back to the starting position. Repeat this five times with your both hands.
Thumb Flexion and Extension
Thumb flexion and extension helps to make the thumb relaxed after getting stiff due to a long day’s work. Start with your hands out forward with your palms facing outwards. Then, slowly stretch the thumb across your palm until you feel that it is extended. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Release back to the beginning position. You can repeat this exercise ten times with both hands.
Ergonomic Vertical Mouse by AnthroDesk
Using an ergonomic mouse is one of the best solutions that can help people who are at risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This promotes the neutral position of the wrist and hands, that’s why there will be no pressure that may lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This type of mouse is designed with ergonomic features as compared to the traditional mouse.
Below are additional tips on how to prevent or alleviate the adverse effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
#1 Use and hold tools lightly. If you’re working with your mouse or tools such as screwdrivers and hammer, make sure to hold them lightly. Firmly holding them can create pressure on the Carpal Tunnel and may get worse over time.
#2 Always watch your posture, Make sure to sit properly, relax your shoulders, and keep your elbows close to the body. Keep your wrists and hands in a neutral position. Use ergonomic mouse and keyboards, as well.
#3 Take breaks. Repetitive tasks and activities can lead to CTS. That is why it is of utmost importance to take regular breaks at work. Use your break times to perform some exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS) requires proper attention. It should be disregarded since it can greatly affect work performance and how you deal with other people. The exercises for CTS mentioned above are simple and easy, yet they can give you awesome ease and comfort in the long run.