Perhaps the most well-known of all the potential contributing factors to carpal tunnel syndrome is involved in jobs and activities that require rapid, repetitive hand movements that can put increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist. Other contributing factors are, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, inflammatory arthritis, pregnancy, birth control usage, and obesity.
What can someone do if they begin to experience tingling and numbness, or carpal tunnel syndrome-related pain and weakness without giving up their livelihood or hobby?
First, understand that the pressure on the carpal tunnel can increase substantially when the wrist is bent, especially when inflammation is present which can affect the median nerve. So, if a movement sometimes results in numbness, tingling, or unpleasant sensations in the hand and wrist, look for ways to maintain a more relaxed position in the wrist. This may also require the use of more ergonomic, wrist-friendly devices.
For the patient with carpal tunnel syndrome, an Osteopath may also advise wearing a splint overnight to keep the wrist from bending during sleep. It is also necessary to take regular breaks (for example, every 30 minutes), so that the injured wrist and hand can relax. Or if necessary, move to a separate task for a brief time before returning to the job that puts the greatest pressure on the hand.
Here are three excellent workout choices for increasing the strength of the finger, thumb, wrist and forearm, which will stretch the soft tissues in the wrist and improve resistance to the activity:
“Push-ups” for the thumb-finger: Place the pads of your fingers and thumbs together in front of you and keep your fingers straight, spread apart and point down. Push your hands together (try to touch your palms) and push them apart by bending and repeating the motion. This simultaneously stretches all five digits and all palm / forearm muscles.
Shake them out: … as if you shake your wet hands to get them dry. Continue that every hour for as long as one to two minutes.
Place your palm on a wall, elbow straight, fingers pointing down and pushing your palm as far as you can into the wall. Reach forward and with the other hand take the thumb out from the wall and stay for 20-30 seconds. Change hands and spread again. This can be repeated every hour, two to three times per hand.
Of course, consult your Osteopath so that he or she can take a look at your patient history and examine the entire course of the median nerve to identify any other factors that may contribute to the symptoms associated with your carpal tunnel.
Book online at www.cramosteopaths.co.uk/book-online