Avoiding Carpal Tunnel for At-Home Workers
Carpal tunnel syndrome inflicts millions of people every year and causes numbness, tingling, and sometimes even a dull, aching pain (like arthritis) in the hands and fingers. This happens when there's a pinched nerve in the wrist. Though don't let that description fool you. It's not as if your nerve ending is just dangling there in your joint, and some unlucky few catch it in there like fingers in a door sometimes. It's far more to do with the inflammation of constant bad wrist posture and overall health, which causes your joints to inflame so much that it's pressing against the nerve and causing these symptoms. It's called a "pinched" nerve, but that's not really what it is. For people who work from home, they're already busy watching their general wellness for weight gain, stress and proper sleep patterns, Though for people who work on the computer, they should also watch out for carpal tunnel.
At first, a little numbness and tingling doesn't sound like a bad condition. Everyone has had a limb "fall asleep," as they say colloquially. Though imagine that never going away, and some days being so bad that you cannot operate your fingers to work your keyboard. Carpal tunnel is a bad thing through which to suffer, so much so that it's considered a legitimate disability. Luckily, however, there are different ways you can prevent this from happening to you. By focusing on the wellness of your hands and wrists, you can stave off this condition and will never have to fight through the numbness of a pinched nerve.
Tips to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel
Here are just a few tips that you can implement every day and very easily to ensure that your nerve doesn't get compressed in your write and lead to bad symptoms.
Take Frequent Breaks
If your nerve is being compressed, then it's likely due to inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by a bad diet and too much sugar, so take care of that in your wellness routine before anything. Though specifically for working on your computer, take frequent breaks. Stand up and move around for 10 minutes every hour. Don't allow your wrist joints to become so inflamed that they expand onto and compress that nerve in there. For some people, carpal tunnel never ends up going away because the nerve is damaged and that's basically a lifetime of on-and-off symptoms.
Use Good Form and Posture
You always hear about having good posture to prevent back problems, but it's also very vital to helping you avoid carpal tunnel. People who have poor posture and bad form not only run the risk of back issues because their posture isn't great; they also end up working their wrist joints too hard to compensate for that posture and typically are not even aware of this. We sometimes feel our hands getting tired, and so we take a few seconds to pop our knuckles and shake our hands about wildly. Then it's right back to work, never realizing that it's our wrists inflaming and pressing on that nerve that's causing those symptoms. Thankfully, for most people, that inflammation abates once you've stopped working. But over time, it's not going to, and that nerve will become compressed and damaged. Then that's all she wrote; you'll have carpal tunnel and need to wear braces on your wrists and hands. Start now and improve your posture.
Use the Right Setup
The right setup is going to help you tremendously. Don't just plop a laptop on the coffee table and sit on the sofa. This is bad posture for your back and wrist. If you're serious about working from home in this capacity, get a chair that allows you to have back support and to keep your back straight, while also getting a computer desk that allows you to work level with your equipment, so your wrists aren't bent up or down either way to do the work. This is going to put far less strain on your wrists and allow you to work in comfort without compressing that nerve in there. It's worth the investment.
Carpal tunnel is something you do not want to deal with. The vast majority of people who get it cannot work online anymore, even if they're wearing their braces, without extreme discomfort. Focus on the health and wellness of your joints and do not take them for granted.