The median nerve that runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand can become pressed or squeezed at the wrist, leading to a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Sufferers of carpal tunnel have symptoms of frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers. Although little to no swelling is apparent, many individuals state feeling their fingers are “swollen and useless”. If untreated or undiagnosed, individuals can experience decreased grip strength, the withering away of the muscles at the base of the thumb, or have a hard time differentiating between hot and cold by touch. Though this condition is fairly common, it is very treatable if detected early or treated responsibly. To help ease the discomfort of those who suffer from this condition, there are non-surgical procedures that can be performed.
Supervised or approved by a physical therapist, certain exercises utilized for stretching and strengthening can alleviate the tenderness of carpal tunnel syndrome. Exercises such as wrist flexion, wrist extension, wrist lifts, hand squeezes, and finger bends can be done. These exercises are most efficient in helping the patient ease the stiffness which occurs as a result of this condition.
The overuse or positioning of the wrist for long periods of time can increase pain and numbness. The wrist tends to be the most vulnerable to pain after sleeping, due to twisting of the hands or making a fist unconsciously. These actions produce tremendous internal stress on the wrist. Wrist splints are recommended to support the wrist at a natural, slight angle to ease the stiff movements that may occur. Wrist Splints are used to hold the nerve in a more relaxed position.
Self-Awareness & Positioning
To prevent or reduce the pain felt within the wrist, make sure to take frequent breaks from activities that require straining or bending the wrist too often. When working on the computer, change the positioning of the keyboard to elbow height or lower to help relax the wrist while typing. At work, focus on good posture by keeping the shoulders back to avoid straining of the neck and shoulder muscles. Eventually, the tension in the neck and shoulders can cause problems in the wrists and hands. For performing tasks such as writing or typing, use the appropriate force necessary to prevent stress on the wrist and hands. Do not firmly grip writing tools or bang the keys of a keyboard.