ZocdocAnswersAre there any exercises I can do so that I don't get carpal tunnel syndrome?

Question

Are there any exercises I can do so that I don't get carpal tunnel syndrome?

I work at a computer 8 hours a day, doing data input. I am beginning to feel some little twinges in my wrists after I've been typing for a few hours. I don't want to get carpal tunnel syndrome and hope there are some exercises I can do periodically during the day to avoid this. I am 38 years old, female, in good health. My sister, who is 29, has carpal tunnel syndrome, and also my aunt I'd like to avoid it if I can.

Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome is actually fairly common. Many people are subject to this, however the severity of symptoms vary widely. There are certain things that one can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, yet may need to be tailored to your situation. I would recommend that you discuss this with your primary care physician on your next visit as there are other aspects of your medical history that will help tailor your strategies. In general, carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve as it goes through the wrist. The median nerve feeds the muscles of the thumb and gives sensation to the thumb and two nearest finger (really two and a half). The carpal tunnel is a structure in the wrist made of bones and tendons and the nerve goes through this "tunnel" and therefore the nerve can be compressed. Carpal tunnel is a repetitive stress injury, therefore poor wrist posture can contribute. Using ergonomic wrist support (any office supply store will have) while on the computer can help avoid it. Regularly changing your wrist position while working can also help. There are no proven exercises that work, but general muscle strength is always helpful in musculoskeletal injuries. Talk to your doctor. Generally, this is not thought to be heritable so it is not for sure that your sister's condition will affect you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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