Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common medical problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Generally, it’s classed as a form of repetitive strain injury and occurs because you frequently use your hands or wrists in a particular way. If you work on a computer or are an avid gamer, for example, you might find that you develop carpal tunnel pain because of this.
While medical advice should always be sought for any undiagnosed pain and discomfort, there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, including:
1. Wearing a Wrist Split
Your doctor may advise you to wear a wrist splint if you’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome because it will help to prevent undue pressure from being placed on the nerves in the affected area. By keeping the wrist straight and alleviating pressure on the nerves, the splint can target the root cause of the problem and relieve your symptoms.
2. Adjust Your Routine
As carpal tunnel pain usually develops following repetitive use of your hands or wrists, you can combat the symptoms by adjusting your routine. Fortunately, you don’t need to make drastic changes to notice an improvement. If you’re a frequent gamer, for example, you could switch to a different type of game so that you’re using a different controller or device. Playing Ruby Fortune on your smartphone will exercise different muscles than playing Call of Duty on a console, for example.
3. Exercise Your Hands, Wrists and Arms
Regularly exercising your hands, wrists and arms can prevent the nerves being compressed and therefore reduce the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. If necessary, your doctor may show you how to perform these exercises or refer you to a physical therapist. Alternatively, you can follow online guidance and create your own routine.
4. Change Your Posture
If you’re experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome because of frequent computer use, changing your posture could be enough to minimise your symptoms. When you adjust the height of your desk or chair, for example, your arms, elbows and wrists will be at a different angle. This can relieve pressure on the nerves and help to ease your discomfort.
5. Steroid Injections
If changes to your lifestyle don’t alleviate carpal tunnel pain, your doctor may advise you to undergo a series of steroid injections. These work by reducing the swelling and stopping excess pressure from being placed on the nerves. While they can offer short-term relief, carpal tunnel syndrome can return if underlying causes aren’t addressed.
Dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Although carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t usually considered to be a serious medical issue, it can certainly have a significant impact on patients. In addition to pain and discomfort, you might experience tingling and numbness in your wrist and hands, and your day-to-day activities could be affected.
Due to this, it’s important to take steps to resolve the problem as swiftly as possible. By seeking medical advice and making appropriate lifestyle changes, most people are able to eradicate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and prevent them from returning.