Physical therapist Dr Holly Herman shares some tips and tricks for women to help them alleviate wrist pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome without surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause pain, cramping, loss of muscle mass and weakness. Wrist muscles and tendons that connect the hand to the forearm and allow our hand to open, close, and move on demand can become painful for many women due to repetitive motion from constant texting, smartphone usage, and use of the keyboard and mouse.
“The associated pain or numbness in the hands and wrists caused by repetitive motion can radiate up the arm, hindering or halting the ability to use a smartphone, text, or do computer work,” says Herman, a physical therapist who practices in Cambridge, Mass, in a media release.
“Actually, almost every piece of electronics that we use daily can put pressure and strain on the wrist tendons. Take caution, as wrist surgery may only help temporarily—when the scars from the surgeries tighten, you might encounter the same problems. So, see a PT for stretching, strengthening exercise, manual therapy, and correcting the ergonomics of the task to relieve symptoms.”
Herman shares the following tips to help alleviate wrist pain without surgery:
- Take a break every five minutes; stand up, walk around and stretch your hands, neck and shoulders.
- Rest your elbows on an armrest or on your sides while using gadgets.
- Try using an ergonomic stylus.
- Support your wrist with a wrist brace night and day to keep the wrist in a neutral position and allow it to be supported.
- Try holding the arm out straight and flexing the hand at the wrist to relieve pressure on the 5 nerves and stretch their shoulders, neck and upper body to relieve the tension on the nerves in the armpit, under the clavicle, and over the ribs.
- Start moving, stretching, self-massaging and correcting painful, repetitive motion activities.
- Consult with a PT to help correct the height of your chair and desk. Have your feet resting on the floor, your arms at your sides and angled up 2 inches to rest on the keyboard rather than raising the shoulders and putting the wrists at an awkward angle.
- Move your fingers, keeping your wrists in a more neutral position rather than always straight.
- Use a keyboard pad to rest your wrists.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. Maintain good posture when typing, ensuring your spine is flush with the back of the chair, and shoulders are relaxed.
- Keep your computer monitor at eye level.
- Remember that any repetitive motion activities like slicing, dicing and gardening can put strain on the wrist—so hourly breaks are crucial.
“Keep your wrists strong and safe with the right support, take breaks from repetitive motion activities and consider your options before committing to surgery,” Herman adds, in the release.
[Source(s): Dr Holly Herman, Business Wire]