If your carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive strain, then you'll need to make some lifestyle changes.
A simple change in how your wrists are positioned during sleep may solve early symptoms. Sleep with your wrists cocked upward instead of bent downward to minimize pressure in the carpal tunnel.
Your workplace should be comfortable and your work activity should conform to the way your body works. To reduce the chance of discomfort or reduced performance:
According to a report published by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a simple warm-up routine may reduce the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. This routine, combined with medication and rest, may prove to be better at treating symptoms than rest and medication.
The warm-up routine is as follows:
Both caffeine and tobacco reduce blood flow to your hands. Nerve tissue is the most sensitive to reduced blood flow. Avoid caffeine and tobacco so that you don’t decrease blood flow to these areas.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Contact your doctor when your symptoms begin to interfere with your activities.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00005 . Updated December 2009. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. American Society for Surgery of the Hand website. Available at: http://www.assh.org/Public/HandConditions/Pages/CarpalTunnelSyndrome.aspx . Published 2011. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated August 6, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm . Updated June 18, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2014 by Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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