Surprising symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and how you can prevent it

Friday, January 8, 2016

Everyone has awoken in the night to feel numbness and tingling in their hands. Typically, we chalk it up to sleeping in an awkward position which can cut off blood circulation. What you may not realize is that this could be one of the first signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a debilitating condition that affects the nerves and fibrous tissue that surround the wrist. Patients often report symptoms at night and eventually they notice them progress to daytime as well.

Other symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include cold hands, especially when the forearm is warm, loss of grip strength, clumsiness in the hands, dropping objects such as forks, pens, or glasses, aching shoulders and neck, and pain radiating up the forearm. Some more common symptoms can include hand or wrist pain, loss of feeling or sensation in the fingers and thumb, numbness or tingling in the middle, index or ring finger, or thumb, and weakness in the hands or wrist.

Although some individuals are born with narrow tunnels and are therefore more susceptible to the disease, many people can prevent the condition with a few easy to follow tips.

Stay warm. Keeping your hands warm will prevent stiffness and pain. Wear gloves if you are not in a temperature controlled environment, or consider fingerless gloves if that better suits your task.

Take a break. Try switching from your dominant hand when performing tasks. It may be awkward at first but in most situations you can adjust. Give your hands a break and do some stretching exercises form time to time.

Hand posture is important. Try to keep your hands in a neutral or straight position instead of bent up or flexed down.

Your body posture can affect your hands. If you ensure that your trunk, neck, and shoulders are properly aligned, it will prevent excessive strain on the wrists and hands.

Relax your grip. Many of us use more force then necessary to perform tasks like writing, typing, using tools, or sweeping the floor. Reducing the force you use will help you to avoid muscle fatigue and strain.

If you believe that you may be suffering from the early signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Mid America Rehab for FREE consultation with one of our Certified Hand Therapists to learn how you can alleviate your pain and help to prevent further damage.