Prevention is always the first line of defense in medical care. There are ways to help minimize the likelihood that you will develop carpal tunnel syndrome and there are certainly ways to help minimize the likelihood that your condition will progress and become severe. If you start to experience numbness and tingling and waking up at night with numbness in your thumb, index, and middle finger, the first thing to do is to get a wrist brace. A simple neutral wrist brace that leaves the fingers free, but keeps the wrist in a neutral position, preventing flexion and extension while you sleep will often help to alleviate those symptoms. And it's important to try that early on to help prevent the pressure on the nerve from building up and making the problem worse. Because patients often experience symptoms with repetitive activities, being aware of how you're doing those activities and taking frequent breaks during them can help to minimize symptoms and in fact, if the condition is mild, it may help to resolve the condition. So making sure that your work setup is proper, that your keyboard height is low, that your tray is not cramped, that your elbows are not flexed, and your risks are not flexed and cramped during activities can be very helpful in minimizing your symptoms. In addition, practicing good work habits, getting up out of your chair periodically, stretching your arms and your neck, and shaking your hands out can help to minimize the repetitive and damaging nature of your activities. So being aware of your environment and how you're doing things can often be the very first line of treatment in carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are a motorcyclist and you have carpal tunnel, there are some things that you can do that will help you. Number one, make sure you're moving those hands on those bars. That will also get good blood flow to the nerve and keep you from getting the carpal tunnel. But if you're having troubles, you may want to wear an extra pair of fingerless gloves inside your regular riding gloves. You may want to get rid of that vibration, which seems to make the carpal tunnel worse. Get some bar ends or now there are some new snakes of metal that can be put in the handlebars that decrease the vibration. Also, with carpal tunnel and on motorcycles, you want to make sure that you're really not leaning right where that median nerve is. That's that crease between the base of the thumb and moving over to where you have your little finger - sort of right there in the middle. Stay off of that. Move your hands frequently.
How can you keep from getting carpal tunnel? For some people, you just can't. You're already predisposed. Your bony canal is small, the nerves and the tendons have a fixed size. But you can avoid making things worse. Protect your hands. If you are a laborer or you do lots of things with your hands in your time at work or your time off and your past times, get some fingerless gloves, bicycle gloves - wear them inside your regular gloves. Also try to keep whatever it is that's pushing on that central part - just where the risk becomes the palm. You don't want to use an awl or a work implement right there, day in, day out.
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