Carpal tunnel pain is an uncomfortable and irritating condition that not only can impact your work routine, but your overall daily routine as well. However, certain habits can actually make your carpal tunnel pain worse. At NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, we know that no one wants to suffer from severe carpal tunnel pain, so we’ve listed some habits that can make your pain worse, and what you can do to fix them:
1. Never Stretching Your Hands
Hours of non-stop work cause the ligaments and muscles in your hands to continuously tighten and shorten, which eventually leads to inflammation that can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking breaks throughout the day to stretch your hands can help counteract this risk. Try this easy stretch a few times during your workday: Pull your fingers back toward your wrist as far as is comfortable. Hold for about 10 seconds, release, and repeat on the other hand. This helps loosen up those overworked muscles and ligaments within the hand.
2. Incorrect Keyboard Position
Take a look at where your keyboard is located on your desk. If it isn’t just above your lap, you may be increasing your risk for carpal tunnel pain. To reduce the amount of strain placed on your wrist, your keyboard should sit above your lap, allowing your arms to relax by keeping them tilted downward with your elbows open.
3. Raising the Back of Your Keyboard
In addition to keyboard position, the elevation of your keyboard is important as well. If your keyboard is raised in the back, your fingers are positioned higher on the top row of keys than on the bottom row. This leads to an unnatural angle of your wrists that can lead to pain after hours of typing. Instead, it is better to keep your keyboard flat on the desk to help reduce carpal tunnel pain.
4. Working Through Numbness or Pain
It’s easy to become wrapped up in deadlines at work, but if you experience any pain or numbness, it’s important to take a break for the sake of reducing your pain. While many people believe that pushing through the pain will eventually cause it to disappear as the day goes on, it can actually make symptoms worse. If you experience pain, simply stop and take a quick 5-minute break. Use this time to do some quick hand and wrist stretches before getting back to work.
5. Not Addressing Underlying Medical Conditions
Did you know that certain health conditions could be the culprit behind your carpal tunnel pain? Diseases that can cause serve damage, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of damage to your median nerve, thus leading to pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, illnesses that cause chronic inflammation throughout the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause the lining around the tendons in your wrist to become inflamed and place pressure on the median nerve. If you suffer from a condition that may cause carpal tunnel pain, it’s important to visit a medical professional to address the condition.
6. Ignoring Signs That Indicate It’s Time for Surgery
While many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can be improved through non-surgical methods, severe cases may need the help of a Clear Lake, Texas, wrist surgeon. Ignoring signs that you need surgery can cause immense pain and impact the overall quality of your workday and daily routine. If your pain has not improved with non-surgical treatment methods, you experience reduced function of your hands or fingers, or your normal activities have already started to be affected, it’s important to see a wrist specialist to help improve your carpal tunnel pain.
If you’re looking to improve your carpal tunnel pain, it’s important to address the ways you may actually be making it worse. For those who need the help of a Clear Lake, Texas, wrist specialist to improve their carpal tunnel pain, give NASA Bone & Joint Specialists a call at (281) 333-5114.