Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Because of the overuse of the hands and wrists, carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive motion injury that sets in over time. Due to the advent of computers and the spread and usage of this gadget in workplaces, this workplace injury is commonplace in work environments that involve executing tasks via the aid of a computer screen and keyboard. Because in executing tasks on a computer screen, one has to position the wrists and palms a certain way to press the keys on the keyboard; as a result, the median nerve in the wrists experiences a higher pressure level than is normal because of the narrowing of the carpal tunnel.
Identifying Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome changes the way your wrists and hands feel on their own and when they touch things or someone.
These are noticeable signs to watch out for:
- Reduced sense of touch in/on your fingertips.
- Pain in your thumb, middle fingers, and index finger. While your ring finger should be affected, it is crucial to note that the ring finger is not usually affected because the median nerve in the carpal tunnel only supplies sensation only halfway in the ring finger.
- Inability to use your hands to perform tasks that are naturally easy and require no careful thought to carry out such as holding a pen to write on a surface, holding a book you are reading, or holding your phone to binge on Netflix while lying down on your bed.
- The inadvertent dropping of things you hold or picked up.
- A tingling sensation in your arms and fingers.
- Loss of grip strength.
The signs add up, layers upon layers, as carpal tunnel syndrome exacerbates to the point where the base of your thumb shrivels. This is why chiropractors recommend treating this at the earliest possible time immediately any symptom shows up.
While this condition cuts across different industries, it affects employees and creatives who man the tills at supermarkets and malls more. Creatives such as painters, artists, musicians, designers, and writers have to interact with surfaces and canvasses mostly with their hands and wrists. Considering the time spent creating a piece of paint or an artwork, a content piece or a sketch, or playing a musical instrument, this syndrome creeps in gradually until it becomes full-blown.
There is also a group of individuals who are also affected by this condition: sportspeople who play sports with their hands and wrists and those who play for fun with their hands.
Other Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Moving away from work and play, there are other factors that make way for carpal tunnel syndrome to affect the hands and wrists. They are too much intake of alcohol, deformities in the hands and wrists, osteoarthritis and other variants of arthritis such as post-traumatic arthritis, bone fractures within the wrist and hands, hereditary factors such as a narrower carpal tunnel which runs in the family, and aging.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treating this condition at an early stage is not difficult. Wrists and hand strengthening exercises like firmly squeezing a stress ball for about a quarter of a minute, eagle pose yoga, and clenched fists exercises help to relieve the pain lodged in your hands and wrists. Certain targeted lifestyle changes help as well.
This is where a chiropractor comes in – especially with the hands and wrists strengthening exercises – before carpal tunnel syndrome becomes full-blown and surgery is required. Also, preventive measures such as taking breaks while working and properly positioning your wrists and hands while playing and working will help keep this syndrome away if it does not already run in your family.