What Can I Do To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

What Can I Do To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you spend most of your day typing at a computer, assembling small objects, or using handheld power tools, you may have concerns about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Repetitive hand and wrist movements put you at risk of developing this common pain condition.

But carpal tunnel syndrome often occurs from a combination of factors. Though there’s no single strategy that can prevent you from getting CTS, you could lower your risk by making a few changes to your daily routine.

At Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, our team of health experts specializes in diagnosing and treating carpal tunnel syndrome, among other conditions. 

While we personalize care based on severity of symptoms, we always take a conservative approach first, which includes modifying the routines that aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms.

Here, we want to talk to you about carpal tunnel syndrome and what steps you can take now that might prevent problems in the future.

Carpal tunnel syndrome 101

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a pain condition that affects the hand and wrist. The pain occurs because of compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist.

The median nerve is a sensory nerve for your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger. It also controls the muscle at the base of your thumb. The carpal tunnel is a narrow rigid tube that serves as a passageway for the median nerve and tendons from your forearm into your hand. 

If the space in the carpal tunnel shrinks, it compresses the median nerve, causing tingling or numbness in the hand. 

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome

In most cases, there’s no single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, but a combination of factors increases pressure on the nerve as it goes through the carpal tunnel. Common contributing causes include:

Genetics

Your genes play a significant role in your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. You may simply inherit anatomical features that make your carpal tunnel smaller. 

Repetitive hand and wrist movements

Engaging in activities that require repetitive hand or wrist movements, like painting or assembly line work, irritates the structures in the wrist. This irritation causes swelling that puts extra pressure on the nerve.

Position of the hand or wrist

Keeping your hand or wrist in a bent or flexed position over a long period of time may increase pressure on the median nerve. Many people first notice CTS symptoms when they wake up in the morning because they sleep with their wrists in a bent position.

Health conditions

CTS is more common in people with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid conditions. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy may also cause swelling that puts pressure on the nerve. 

Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome

Unfortunately, you can’t control all the factors that cause carpal tunnel syndrome. But making changes to your daily routine to reduce pressure and stress on the nerve may help. 

We recommend: 

If you have numbness or tingling in your hand, it’s time to schedule an appointment with one of our experts. Reducing stress on your wrist can ease symptoms, but without proper treatment, CTS gets worse over time and may cause permanent nerve damage.

Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome may not be possible in all circumstances, but finding ways to reduce stress and strain on your hands and wrists might help. 

Don’t ignore the early morning tingling and numbness in your hands. We can design a plan to manage these CTS symptoms, potentially preventing the need for more invasive treatments. Call our office to request an appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Common Sports Injuries That Need Treatment

It’s always a good idea to stay active. But not when you have a sports injury. Though you can treat a minor injury at home, click here to see what common sports injuries need professional treatment.

Noninvasive Treatments for Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can make daily activities like brushing your teeth and getting dressed nearly impossible. The good news is that most causes of shoulder pain improve without surgery. Click here to learn about noninvasive treatments for shoulder pain.

What You Need to Know About ACL Reconstruction

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury may not heal on its own, and the only way to regain full use of your knee is to have ACL reconstruction surgery. Here’s what you need to know about ACL reconstruction.

How to Heal Your Shin Splints

Shin splints are an overuse injury that causes an aching sensation along the ridge of your shin in your lower leg. Healing shin splints requires rest and a change in your workout routine. Here’s what you need to know.

Can Disc Herniation Heal on Its Own?

It may take a few months and require some effort on your part, but a disc herniation can heal on its own. Click here to learn what you can do to get relief from your herniated disc symptoms.