If you spend a lot of time working at a desk on a computer, you already have an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition of the ligaments in the wrist. It’s caused by repetitive movements and it just so happens that movements like typing are what causes it.
Therefore, everyone who sits at a desk typing for many hours a day is at risk for developing it and many people already have it. If you’ve been noticing that you have pain or numbness in your wrists or fingers, you might be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome without even knowing it. Fortunately, there are some simple things that you can do to help the situation that are not as drastic as having surgery.
Wear a Wrist Brace
If you’re wondering how to use a wrist brace for carpal tunnel pain relief, be sure to start by choosing the right brace. You can typically find these online, at your local pharmacy or even at some big box stores. If you’re in doubt, you and your doctor can work together to help you find one that is likely to provide the greatest amount of relief.
If your injury is severe, the brace should be rigid enough that it doesn’t allow a lot of extra movement within your wrist joint. Typically, these types of braces cover the palm of the hand and allow movement of the thumb and all fingers while simultaneously supporting the wrist.
The brace usually extends half way up your forearm and can be adjusted with Velcro straps to adjust the compression. You want to choose a high-quality brace that is designed to relieve carpal tunnel pain. Be careful not to fasten it too tight, but instead make it just snug enough to get relief from the pain while still allowing full blood flow to the area.
Clearly, you don’t want to wear a wrist brace all the time. You may have to wear it during working hours, but even then, it’s important to remove the brace for a while and move your wrist around. You might want to do this during your lunch hour. You can do some wrist exercises that involve simple movements which help to strengthen the joint and keep that area as healthy as possible.
When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, you’re trying to avoid any additional damage to the compressed nerves. Therefore, the exercises that you do should focus on flexibility and a full range of motion to give you a certain amount of pain relief. Simply flexing your wrist back and forth as well as left and right a few times along with clenching your hand and releasing it can give you a certain amount of relief.
Take a Break
It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to get up from your desk and take a break periodically. The people who end up with the most problems from sitting at a desk are the ones that sit there for hours on end and never get up to rest. It doesn’t mean that you’re being unproductive if you get up and walk around for a few minutes.
Ideally, you should be leaving the computer and walking around the room for about five minutes once an hour. It not only helps with some of the fatigue associated with carpal tunnel syndrome that you might be experiencing in your wrist, but it also helps to clear your head. This is also good way to prevent blood clots in your legs.
Use Ergonomically Designed Materials
You can also order special computer keyboards that are designed to help alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel pain. They support your wrists and help take some of the stress off those nerves while you’re typing. By the same token, you might be in a position where you can choose to use a voice typing system as opposed to physically typing everything on the keyboard.
In closing, the most important thing to remember is that if you are already experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist brace should be your go-to accessory for relief while you simultaneously incorporate the other ideas listed above. If you’re not yet having problems, it’s a good idea to start incorporating preventative measures so that you don’t find yourself needing a brace later on.