Everyday Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Jul 06, 2022

Everyday Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Are your wrists aching, tingling, or going numb in the night? These telltale issues might be the early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Here’s how to prevent symptoms from worsening.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common form of entrapment neuropathy, a condition caused by nerves passing through a narrow space that’s being compressed, in this case the wrist. It’s estimated that 10% of adults will suffer from CTS at some point in their lifetime.

At Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (AOSM), with locations in Union City and Dyersburg, Tennessee, Dr. Michael CalfeePaxton Sisson PA-C, and the rest of our skilled team provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for patients struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome.

CTS basics

Carpal tunnel syndrome is specifically caused by compression of the median nerve that runs through your wrist into the palm of your hand. This nerve is responsible for transferring the impulses that run from the brain to the muscle that moves your thumb and that delivers sensations to most of your fingers. When your wrist is swollen, the tunnel through which the median nerve runs is compressed, which can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain.

Risk factors for CTS

There are several risk factors for CTS. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to suffer from carpal tunnel issues. 

  • Being female (smaller carpal tunnel)
  • Working a desk job (especially one involving typing or data entry)
  • Having an autoimmune disorder (such as rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Having diabetes and/or high blood pressure
  • Experiencing heavy fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
  • Having a history of wrist trauma or fractures 
  • Being diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction

If Dr. Calfee suspects you may have CTS, he can use your medical history and physical examination tests, called nerve conduction studies, to arrive at a diagnosis. These tests measure the conduction speed of your nerve impulses, and a slow signal is a typical sign you have CTS.

Avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome 

You can help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome by protecting your wrist health. Consider taking the following steps to reduce strain and inflammation and keep your wrists from becoming swollen.

  • Take frequent breaks, flex your fingers and wrists, and shake out your hands
  • Consider a hobby that makes you use your hands in new ways, like crochet
  • Rotate tasks to reduce repetitive motions and keep your wrist joints flexible
  • Make sure your computer screen is directly in front of you
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair, keyboard, and mouse
  • Keep your forearms at a 90 degree angle when possible
  • Use proper padding to support your wrists in front of the keyboard and mouse
  • Consider using wrists splints or braces to provide additional support
  • Use a heating pad or wear fingerless gloves to keep your wrists warm

Think you may have CTS? You don’t have to suffer. To get in touch, call the AOSM location closest to you, or book an appointment online.